In the church where I now pastor, you will find a cross but not one of those pretty ones that you may see in other churches. I personally, do not like to see a cross-draped with a purple cloth or some other ornament representing the death of our savior. Behind our pulpit, there stands an Old Rugged Cross. I would like to share the story of that Old Rugged Cross and how it came to stand in its rightful place in our church. Before I became the pastor of this church, I preached a revival. The central message of that weeklong revival was the Cross. I asked my husband, Billy, who had made many sermon props for me down through the years, if he would make an Old Rugged Cross that could stand in the sanctuary all week. He had some old rugged timbers and made an old rugged cross approximately 7 ft tall. After its completion, he asks me to inspect it.
I said, “That is exactly what I wanted but the cross piece is uneven” His reply to me was “I am sure they did not lay Jesus down on it and measure it.” Point was well taken. The cross still stands in our church just as it was constructed, crude and rugged. At the close of the revival, I ask Billy to remove it from the sanctuary. The pastor over heard our conservation and said “No don't take it out; that is just what I want, an Old Rugged Cross.’ So, there it remains in its special place as a reminder of the rugged and cruel way Jesus was crucified. This cross holds extra meaning for me; as it is the cross that was at the heart of the revival I preached. The pastor, asking it to remain in the church, and my husband building it, makes it even more special. There stands no cross of beauty in our church, just that ‘Old Rugged Cross’.
Pas†or Helen Brinson