Massive cross with crown of thorns towers over Mississippi interstate

A huge cross installed this week, one of the tallest in the country, is drawing people together I-55 in Batesville, Mississippi.

“It’s gonna be great, It’s gonna glorify God,” said John Mothershed, a passerby who stopped to check out the cross on the day of its implementation.

The newly erected cross was a community project put on by the residents of Batesville. Carol Anne Lightsey said she was inspired by a 150-foot cross at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

The new cross is on donated land and was made possible by more than $200,000 worth of fundraising. “We’ve gotten money all the way from Poland,” Lightsley told WREG.


Mike Rozier donated his business services to make the project possible. Rozier said, “He died on that cross to be raised again and he did it out of love, and that’s what we hope people see when they come down the interstate.”

The cross features LED lights, as well as messages from members of the community. Lightsley said residents “wrote everything in there, so everybody’s covered in those thorns before they were welded on.”


She said she hopes the site will be more than just a passing attraction. “When we get through, it’ll be a place to come. It’ll have benches, and most importantly, it’ll have Christ’s spirit.”

Later in the week an official dedication ceremony will likely take place, according to Lightsley.