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Empty Cross and Sculpture Prayer Garden Drawing Thousands to Texas Hill Country

Media Release : May 20, 2014 : The Coming King Foundation

TCKF On July 4, 2013, Elaine Smith of Houston, TX drove five hours to the Kerrville garden after reportedly hearing the voice of God while she was sitting in hospital waiting room. Smith said, "I asked God for a special sacred place to pray in Texas. God answered me and said: 'THERE IS A 77'7' CROSS IN KERRVILLE, GO THERE.' I had never heard of Kerrville, this garden or The Empty Cross before. I went to the computer and about fell on the floor when I found this garden. I cried for 45 minutes to an hour. Then God said: 'THIS IS MY JERUSALEM IN TEXAS.' So, I came to Kerrville. This is my third trip."

(Kerrville, TX)—Thousands of people from across the USA and at least 32 countries have traveled to a 1,930' mountain top to see monumental contemporary sculptures in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, where many believe a "spiritual vortex" or "open heaven" exists. As a result, THE COMING KING SCULPTURE PRAYER GARDEN in Kerrville, TX has become a hotspot for God-seekers and art enthusiasts. During the four days around Easter, 1,724 visitors were officially documented from 20 states and 4 countries. The largest one day attendance was 720, occurring on April 19th, the Saturday before Easter.

The unfinished spiritual art garden has been the subject of repeated coverage by newspapers, magazines, TV networks, radio and the internet, across the USA and world. Over three million dollars' worth of monumental art has been donated to the garden by three internationally collected artists, Max Greiner, Jr., Beverly Paddleford and David Broussard.

The spiritual art garden is located about 60 miles northwest of San Antonio, at the same latitude as Israel, approximately halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans on IH-10. The 24.5 acre property looks like the Holy Land of the Middle East. Open 365 days a year, from 6:00 a.m. until midnight, admission is free. The private park is owned and operated by THE COMING KING FOUNDATION (TCKF), a non-profit 501c3 "Art Museum".

TCKF is not a religious ministry or church. However, the monumental art and Scripture verses displayed, point visitors to God.

Garden visionary, Eagle Scout, Texas Aggie, and former Southern Baptist, Max Greiner, Jr. founded TCKF with his wife, Sherry in 2004. The artist says: "We created this art park so people might experience the presence of God…" According to Greiner, "This garden is being built on faith in God without debt, to bless our community and the world. The garden is only about 50% completed, but God is 100% here!"

TCKFHowever, the unique spiritual garden almost didn't happen. When the project was first announced in the local newspaper, on April 15, 2006, atheists and other opponents of the proposed cross immediately objected, despite the fact the garden was to be built on private land. TCKF was then bombarded by email attacks. Next, false charges were filed with local, state and national agencies, including the IRS, which resulted in an audit. Civil rights were ignored during the next four years of attacks. False accusations were made by critics in local newspapers, at City Council meetings, on TV news, in an effort to derail the non-profit Christian art project. TCKF was eventually cleared of all charges, but great damage was done to the public image TCKF and the Greiners.

Finally, when all other strategies failed, opponents filed a lawsuit to stop the cross from being erected on TCKF private land. The lawsuit was filed as a real estate issue rather than a civil rights case to avoid the intervention of Christian legal organizations. After a 15 month, $200,000 lawsuit, the case was settled on March 1, 2010. The massive 77'7" cross was finally erected on July 27, 2010, as the national and international media covered the event.

Today, most critics are now silent because the garden has become Kerrville's top, year-round tourist attraction, even in its unfinished state. This assessment is based on daily attendance, placement on national tourism websites, and worldwide publicity in the secular and Christian media.

Hundreds of distinguished Christian leaders have prayed for the success of this project including Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Bill Bright, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Max Lucado, Rick Warren, Paul Crouch, Tony Perkins, Randy Clark, John Hagee, Hal Lindsey and Governor Mike Huckabee, to name a few.

TCKFMany visitors to the unfinished garden return with their family and friends numerous times. Rev. Marti Falck of Tampere, Finland wrote: "I have seen thousands of crosses around the world in over 60 nations, but I have never seen an empty cross. It will draw international attention to Kerrville. The Empty Cross will touch the nations. I came 9,000 miles from my home in Finland to see the cross. It really blessed us to be in the prayer garden."

On July 4, 2013, Elaine Smith of Houston, TX drove five hours to the Kerrville garden after reportedly hearing the voice of God while she was sitting in hospital waiting room. Smith said, "I asked God for a special sacred place to pray in Texas. God answered me and said: 'THERE IS A 77'7" CROSS IN KERRVILLE, GO THERE.' I had never heard of Kerrville, this garden or The Empty Cross before. I went to the computer and about fell on the floor when I found this garden. I cried for 45 minutes to an hour. Then God said: 'THIS IS MY JERUSALEM IN TEXAS.' So, I came to Kerrville. This is my third trip."

ABOUT TCKF: The Coming King foundation is a non-profit, 501c3 Art Museum who's Trustees are laymen, artists, pastors, missionaries and evangelists of many Christian denominations. For more information visit: www.thecomingkingfoundation.org

ABOUT THE GARDEN: The 24.5 acre art park is the only place in the world where the 77'7" contemporary sculpture called "The Empty Cross", promoted as the "Most Symbolic Cross Sculpture in the World", can be seen. It is also the only place in the world where all of Greiner's monumental sculptures can be seen at one location.







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