The Meaning of a Wooden Cross

Pulsing underneath the Arizona desert sun is a vibrant and energetic church that serves in two locations: Chandler and Casa Grande. Known for caring about people who are far away from God, Compass Christian Church, although nearly 100 years old, has become one of the fastest growing churches in the area. The church loves people well and creates opportunities for the entire family to learn more about Jesus in practical and simple ways.

Compass recently participated in a campaign titled Uncharted. The campaign began more than two years ago and was threefold. The church set out to partner with missions groups all over the world to expand its Kingdom reach beyond the Arizona borders. The church also worked to better solidify its ongoing ministry budget items in order to steward well it resources.

The campaign, however, was ignited by the build out of its brand-new main worship sanctuary that is now fully operational and just as vibrant as the members who call Compass Christian Church their home.

“This whole endeavor with really monumental,” Rick Calcutt, Pastor of Creative Environments, said. “The family of Compass and individual families within Compass had the opportunity to participate hands on with the project, making the church building more personal.”

Rick has been with Compass for seven years and has been one of the creative eyes for the church. Rick brings details to the church’s physical space and finds ways to add an innovative touch to many of Compass’ design endeavors.

Decor Features on Target

Cross On A Wall

“Rick went above and beyond on some of the internal touches in the lobby that featured their mission and values. A huge cross was created out of stakes that their people put in the ground at groundbreaking,” Mark Briggs, Executive Vice President of Lending and Investments with CDF Capital, said. “I'm guessing there were over 1000 of them.”

Instead of simply creating a standard lobby that welcomed families into the church, Rick felt adding the church member’s personal touch to the project fit well with the Uncharted theme. During the initial campaign and sermon series, church members were encouraged to write the names of people that they were praying for on wooden stakes. The stakes, then, were driven into the ground where the future building would eventually be erected. The church also wrote similar messages on small rocks to add to the visual demarcation of their future sanctuary.

After the series ended, the wooden stakes and rocks were boxed up and set aside.

“I didn’t know how they were going to be used,” Rick recalled. “But I knew that at some point those rocks and the stakes were going to be used.”

When the building was under construction, the lightbulb went off in Rick’s head.

“We were having a meeting one day with the architect about some of the items that were going to be in the building,” Rick remembered. “One of the items was the cross that was going to go over the main entrance into the worship center.

“The architect was describing the cross, how big it was going to be, and that it was going to be metal,” Rick continued. “I realized it wasn’t going to be very big. And then I remembered the stakes. If I could use those stakes to form a cross, how cool would that be?”

The cross stands at 18 feet tall and 9 feet wide and has become a creative wonder that church members and visitors marvel at week in and week out.

In addition to the personalized cross, Rick also wanted to include the rocks that the Compass members wrote on to fill the riverbed water feature that would become the main walkway accent into the lobby area of the main worship sanctuary.

CDF Capital Partnering with the Church

With the project complete, Compass Christian Church has a beautiful design that church members are proud to invite their friends and family to.

"We were honored to step in to serve Compass as they were taking such a momentous step for their church,” Mark said. “Starting a project of this scope a few months before the pandemic reared its head was not an ideal situation. But the Compass leadership exhibited both faith and wisdom as they navigated the project in such a certain time.

“They have such a heart to reach their community for Jesus, and this facility is a world-class tool to accomplish their mission,” Mark continued. “I've worked on many projects in my years with CDF Capital, and this is one of the finest facilities I have ever seen."

Church Exterior Image