Provo resident, Niki Thornock is hoping Provo’s Easter cross — which served as symbol that brought different sects of Christianity together in the 1940s and was torn down and left in shambles during the 1970s — will be repaired and given a new location for people now to witness a portion of the town’s history.
In 1933, local religious leaders sponsored an ecumenical Easter morning program. At first, it was conducted on the shores of Utah Lake, our state’s own version of the Sea of Galilee. The event brought together Utah County’s various Christian denominations in a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. BYU professors, Protestant ministers and city officials worked together on the event, which drew thousands. Rising water levels forced organizers to move to higher ground, and in 1939 a beautiful site in Provo’s foothills, at the base of Y Mountain, was selected.
A cross made from native stone was erected on the crest of a hill overlooking Utah Valley. It became known as the Easter Cross. The natural hillside amphitheater provided enough room for the crowds attending services, and the inspiring vista complemented the Easter message. The programs were discontinued years later, but the site was a place of peaceful contemplation through the 1970s, just east and slightly north of today’s Lookout Pointe Apartments.
Unfortunately, the site has gone downhill since then. The hillside today is scarred by off-road vehicle users, and construction debris has been dumped in the grassy amphitheater. The Easter Cross itself lies broken on the ground, apparently a victim of vandals who appreciate neither history nor beauty but it doesn’t have to remain this way.
Now is the time to restore the Easter Cross. Here are all the pieces for the restoration:
- A new location in the East Lawn Memorial cemetery (since the property owner won’t allow me to rebuild in the original location)
- A crane to move it to the new location
- A stone-mason to rebuild it
- A bronze plaque to tell the story
- And funding to make it happen
Please visit crowdrise.com/restoretheeastercross and donate to this cause. Niki is working with the Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ, so your donation is tax deductible. Let’s unite our community to bring back this piece of our city’s history.
Alternatively, checks can be made out to PCCUCC. For: Easter Cross.
Easter Cross Project
c/o Provo Community Congregational United Church of Christ
PO Box 132
Provo, UT 84603