Louisiana’ giant cross pastor busted for drug possession

Louisiana’ giant cross pastor busted for drug possession

Andy C Harris, senior pastor at The Church of the Cross in Haughton, is in police custody after after he was found in possession of methamphetamine.

The pastor is best known for having inflicted America’s third largest cross on the local landscape in 2009.

According to this report, church officials confirmed that Harris had resigned after his arrest on Wednesday. Online references to the pastor on the church’s website and social media accounts have been deleted. He had been preaching at the church – an Assemblies of God congregation– since 1996.

Incidentally, there’s a lot of badly written garbage on the church’s website, including:

By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal lif.

Harris had been living in a 3,519-square-foot home, according to property records. It was at his home that Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives allegedly discovered 3.4 grams of meth along with smoking and snorting paraphernalia.

ArkLaTex reported:

It was under Harris’ administration that the 199-foot-tall cross was erected on church property. The cross – which in the United States is only shorter than one in Corpus Christi, Texas (210ft) and St. Augustine, Florida (208ft), was not without controversy.

As pastor of the then Central Assembly of God Church, Harris made an impassioned plea to the Bossier Parish Police Jury in October 2008, after the project was turned down by the Metropolitan Planning Commission, threatening to file a suit in District Court.

Harris said at the time:

The common man on the street is going to be looking at who’s for the cross and who’s not, and we all understand the ramifications.

The church was subsequently granted a zoning exemption from local authorities.

This report adds that Harris told deputy sheriffs about the meth during an interview regarding an unrelated investigation. Harris was not a suspect in that investigation, which had been ongoing for a few days, said Bill Davis, the department’s public information officer. Davis declined to say what the department had been investigating.

Harris allowed authorities to search his residence to retrieve the drugs. He was booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility with a bail of $5,000.

Harris’ childhood church was the Broadmoor Assembly of God in Shreveport, according to the now-deleted biography on the church’s website.

His parents were a prominent Bossier City builder and teacher, respectively, and he graduated from Bossier High School.

He completed a ministerial internship at his home church, the Broadmoor Assembly of God, and became an ordained minister in 1985. He and his wife have two children and one grandchild.

Hat tip: Matthew Carr

23 responses to “Louisiana’ giant cross pastor busted for drug possession”

  1. L.Long says:

    Isn’t it amazing how all these holier than thou xtians are never sorry or quit preaching against their sins until they are caught by secular laws!!!

  2. barriejohn says:

    “Mine’s bigger than yours”. Once it was spires; then it was Bibles; now it’s crosses!

    (PS I see that they have a very prominent “Online Giving” link on their site, though they are, sadly, unable to accept donations from outside the USA. Never mind, we can still pray for them!)

  3. Lucy says:

    I recently went to Liverpool. For non UK readers, not the most wealthy city in the country, particularly the Irish Catholic community, I went to the RC cathedral out of morbid curiosity. I do think that most post-Victorian RC buildings are peculiarly ugly, so wanted to see this example. Apparently, the plan was to build a cathedral which would be the second biggest in the WORLD!!! WTFF??? All done on the contributions of the poor. They built a lot of the crypts etc, then, the second world war happened, and the money went away, as well as the hubristic ambition, The current thing is as I suspected, ugly as fuck. And honestly, I do like lots of modern architecture, including Brutalism.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Lucy: I was at college in Lancashire, and visited both of Liverpool’s cathedrals. The Anglican one is breathtaking (though not “beautiful” in my opinion); the Catholic one is, as you say, ugly as fuck, like a cross between a booking hall and a public lavatory, and seems to have nothing to commend it. I couldn’t believe it. Coventry Cathedral (Sir Basil Spence) – the object of much criticism and ridicule in my youth – is also most impressive, and perfectly complements the ruins of the original; not an easy task. I’d love to see what its detractors might have come up with!

  5. AgentCormac says:

    America’s third largest cross meets a methamphetamine habit. That’ll be a new kind of high, then.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    @ Lucy & barriejohn
    As someone who was brought up in and around Liverpool (many years ago now, mind), I have visited both cathedrals on numerous occasions and I spent much of my late teens and early twenties studying at the art school on Hope Street. (This being a road of Romanesque linearity (I think I may have just invented a new word there) which connects the two show-piece places of worship.)

    As I’m sure you both know, the anglican version is an incredibly imposing, gothic pile of grandeur, set on a sandstone sill overlooking the city which was, I’m sure, meant to make a statement about which faith the city of Liverpool really belonged to.

    The RCC cathedral, always known locally as ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’, is, by way of contrast, a modernistic response which was, I guess, supposed to stick two fingers up to its dowdy anglican neighbour.

    And I have always found that to be somewhat paradoxical: the catholic church positioning itself as modern and progressive, to contrast itself against a seemingly traditional and orthodox anglican church.

    But, hey – that’s Liverpool for you.

  7. RussellW says:

    Britain is a world leader for ugly buildings, there’s the “cheese-grater”, the “gherkin” and the thing that looks like a stranded jellyfish.

    Is that the Star of David at the base of the cross?

  8. Lucy says:

    I was so shocked by learning that the original idea was just that it should just be VAST!

  9. barriejohn says:

    Lucy: Here’s the original design.'_Original_Liverpool_Catholic_Cathedral

    It’s weird, and pretty ugly to me, but then so is the present structure!

  10. Broga says:

    I was educated which included indoctrinated that Britain i.e. the English were the best in everything. Including buildings. I had a reality check when I first went abroad to Portugal.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Don’t get me started!

    Here’s the new frontage to our local Museum and Art Gallery:

    Somebody thought that this monstrosity was suitable for a narrow street in a small, Georgian market town with a multitude of buildings of historic significance, including that behind the facade (a Victorian school building which someone reportedly said: “Looks like a doctor’s surgery”!). I despair.

  12. Brian Jordan says:

    Don’t forget the massive “Angel of the North”, inflicted at public expense on a hill near the A! by Gateshead council in a fit of hubristic publicity-seeking.
    Do forget the fortunately failed attempt to inflict a massive Mount Rushmore-like carving of Captain Cook on the cliffs at Whitby, mercifully scuppered by outraged locals.

  13. Stephen Mynett says:

    BJ, I have seen that before but had forgotten about it. I will blame you if the nightmares return 🙂

    I wonder whether the “designer” for want of a better word, went to a special effort to make sure the original building could still be seen behind, it certainly helps to promote the hideousness of the whole thing.

  14. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: The local press went into raptures about it (“Let them city folk put that in their pipes and smoke it”), and Prince Eddie himself had the task of unveiling it!

    But just look at what the Southampton City Fathers allowed to desecrate the frontage of the amazing Art Deco Civic Centre (a truly magnificent building, inside and out):

    Sidney Kimber must be spinning in his grave!

  15. Broga says:

    barriejohn: Most unfortunate. The Southampton disaster left it lagging in offense to the sight of those passing. I suppose the thinking behind this horror is that anyone who says that it is a blight that defaces the environment is deemed unsophisticated. A case of the Emperor’s new clothes, I suppose.

    I assume that the Southampton offense has been left standing.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Again, they’re proud of it. The irony is that it was built largely to house a Titanic museum, and has been disastrous (at a cost of over £15m so far ) and may well prove unviable. They were forced to back down from plans to sell works of art to finance it, so who are the real Philistines?

  17. Daz says:

    That Southampton thing is bleedin’ awful.

    I find it amazing. Try to replace the sash windows in a bog-standard early 20th century terrace house, of which there are gazillions, and you’ll be faced with a preservation order. Yet they can do that?

  18. Stephen Mynett says:

    There is a lot of modern art I like but the idiots who put up these monstrosities should realise that certain forms do not mix.

    Had that Southampton thing been part of a totally new project and used as a modern art gallery I would like it but jammed on to an older building just makes the whole place look awful.

    As has been said already, it will be Emperors new clothes from a lot and when it comes to living up one’s own ass the art community can be very good at it. The twerp Damien Hirst used to have a gallery near where I stay and a friend was taken in by his supposed originality. One piece, something that looked like a big box or bed wrapped in polythene appeared outside his place and again my friend was enraptured. That was until I took him to the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna and showed him a similar thing which had been done in the 1960s. I believe Hirst has been accused of plagiarism in the past, I just accuse him of being a stuck up pillock.

  19. Broga says:

    Daz: We decided to dig a wildlife pond in our field and which we could see from the house. We had six visits from very pleasant council people none of whom offered advice. Then the decision had to go through the planning process. In the end we got the pond which drained as soon as it filled.

    None of them mentioned that there must be a land drain adjacent to it. A neighbouring farmer suggested that and the problem was fixed. We now have mallards, an occasional heron, masses of frogs, swooping swallows, spectacular dragonflies, one visit from an otter and a few visits from a kingfisher which perches in the trees round the edge. All the trouble was worth it in the end. But shouldn’t our trouble and expenditure be encouraged and not frustrated.

    And yet £millions are spent, from public money, on these ugly buildings.

  20. RussellW says:

    Brian Jordan

    Thanks for referring to the “Angel of the North, it’s quite a visual experience. It’s even worse than Rio’s ‘Christ the Redeemer’ concrete monstrosity.

    A lucky escape for the people of Whitby, Captain Cook then Francis Drake then…..

  21. Robster says:

    The badly busted cleric should perhaps declared his meth stash as a religious relic thingy of some sort.Made by the baby Jesus for his staff to use to cope with all the silly nonsense?

  22. barriejohn says:

    Please forgive one further assault upon your visual senses, but it has been announced today that Unilever are leaving London. Unilever House is, of course, a quite magnificent building (Neoclassical Art Deco), but here is their Rotterdam HQ:

    No comment!

  23. RussellW says:


    That’s beyond ugly. My first impression is of a catastrophic construction failure and a desperate attempt to prop up the collapsed building.

    I’d be nervous walking past it.