Little White Crosses spreading to Orange County
Published 9:53 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016
By Bobby Tingle
Little White Crosses Orange County began as an outreach of Turning Point Church in Vidor. A ministry group of the church, Fishers of Men, focuses on ministering to homeless individuals and families. After hearing about the efforts of Mid-County Little White Crosses the group decided to begin a local campaign.
They began the effort two weeks before Thanksgiving. Showing support to the Mid-County group was, in the beginning, one of the main reasons for the effort. The Mid-County effort began when an atheist group requested the removal of a white cross at Port Neches Park.
The Orange County group began building and distributing crosses at their location in Vidor. The project has snowballed from there.
News outlets began to report on their efforts. A local television station and a radio station gave them some momentum with news stories. But the effort took on new life when the Nativity scene displayed at City Hall in Orange was removed. That event provided a catalyst for growth. Christians in Orange County had a reason of their own to band together.
“This is not about a church or a group. This is about God and Christians in Orange County working together,” Sonia Smith, a spokesman for the effort, said.
An atheist group submitted a letter to the City of Orange requesting permission to place a sign in the vicinity of the Nativity display. City officials decided to eliminate the nativity scene rather than allow other groups to display alternative messages.
As a result of that event, others came forward and have joined forces to grow the efforts of Little White Crosses Orange County. Production and distribution of crosses is now at a larger location. The number of volunteers has grown. The opportunity to have a broader outreach has evolved.
The Palms Event Center in Orange has agreed to allow production and distribution of crosses at their location. Dr. Messer and his daughter, Marcie, own and operate the event center and have made it available to this group and their effort.
So far, 4,500 crosses have been given to local residents for display. Volunteers are a needed to maintain the momentum.
“This is not about the Port Neches cross, it is about Christians working together and standing up for the symbol of the cross and what it means,” Smith said.
The crosses are free and can be picked up between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Volunteers can also show up at those times to do the work of producing crosses.
Donations are certainly accepted as well. Cash donations can be made to the group or supplies such as paint or boards. Individuals can also purchase supplies at any Orange County Building Materials store. Jerry Lightfoot has made it easy by allowing residents to donate supplies at any of his OCBM locations.
Little White Crosses Orange County also has a Facebook page by the same name. Currently there are over 2,600 members.