BRANSON, Mo. -- You could think of it as The Ozarks' version of the St. Louis Arch or the Golden Gate Bridge: a monumental, God-inspired undertaking that its planner thinks could draw millions of people from around the world.
"This actually started as a vision that my dad had about 15 to 20 years ago," said Kerry Brown, the man behind the effort to build a 200-foot cross along U.S. 65 north of Branson on Bear Mountain.
Brown says he is on a mission from God. Now he's taking his father's vision and he is making it a vision everyone in Branson will share.
"He (my dad) was able to come into possession of the actual property that has the second tallest mountain in the Ozarks Mountains," Brown said.
Ask Brown how he knows it's an assignment from above, and he will tell you the story of this giant sized gig-saw of a puzzle that has come together quite divinely, with key pieces falling right into place.
"Like many projects, it's about 'What’s going to happen to me?', and a landowner to the east had some pretty strong concerns and, it's kind of interesting, after the meeting he came and spoke to me out in the hall, and he said, "I didn’t know what this was about and I wouldn’t have spoken if I would have known what it was about.' He was actually in favor of it when he heard the whole story," said Chuck Pennel.
Pennel was a Taney County commissioner four years ago when Brown was trying to get this monumental project off the ground. The usual "not in my backyard" hurdle, though, was quickly cleared.
"Well, our front yard is where it will be, so we’re ecstatic about it!" said Larry Green, the nearest property owner to the project.