Bald Knob lights up cross for Easter Sunday
By: Carly O'Keefe
By: Carly O'Keefe
ALTO PASS, Ill. - Easter Sunday, voices rose in Alto Pass in the very cold morning air, singing "Old Rugged Cross." It was the 71st Easter Sunrise Service at the Bald Knob Cross of Peace.
Bald Knob has itself become an old rugged cross. It's been ravaged by time and vandals. Members of the Board of Directors spent the night reinstalling white tiles that had fallen from the cross and replacing lights. "We put in the lights last night and we'll take them down today, but one of these days, they'll be back on all the time," said Board Member Tom Heil.
For many, it was a sight to behold; for the first time since vandals destroyed the lighting last month, Bald Knob Cross shone brightly again, as the beacon it has been for the past 71 Easters.
Bundled in blankets, wool caps and winter coats, the faithful huddled together to hear the Easter sermon. While the cold kept attendance lower than it's been in previous Easter sunrise events, some Christians went away from the service with an additional message of unity. "In particular here--looking at the decrepit shape of this cross... We as Christians need to come together like we've never come together before. We need to stop fighting about who's in control and all that. And it goes beyond this cross. This cross is just an indicator. It goes to all denominations in Southern Illinois, we need to come together," said service attendee David Fletcher of Carbondale.
A community group that is not affiliated with the Bald Knob Board of Directors plans to hold a gospel and bluegrass concert at Cobden High School, Saturday, April 28. All proceeds will be put toward repairing and cleaning up the cross.
To help with repairs, you can make donations directly by check to: