A settlement agreement struck at the last minute has given the green light for a 77-foot cross to go up on a hilltop overlooking Interstate 10 in Kerrville, Texas, near San Antonio.
Originally, a court date was scheduled for Monday, when lawyers representing several residents were expected to argue against the monument – part of a 23-acre sculpture prayer garden being created by The Coming King Foundation.
"At the last minute, all parties involved were able to negotiate a settlement agreement, thus avoiding a trial today," reported the foundation Monday.
"TCKF trustees 'unanimously' voted to take this path of peace with our neighbors which allows us to accomplish our goal," it added. "The cross can now go up and be a blessing to our community!"
In December 2008, residents of the area near the site of the cross filed a lawsuit to stop the erection of the 70-ton empty steel cross, arguing that the land was meant for residential, not commercial use.
Though a mediation was requested by The Coming King Foundation after more residents joined the suit the following month, the effort proved unsuccessful. Two more rounds of talks also left the dispute unresolved.
Under terms of the recently-made agreement, the cross can go up, but must be accompanied by the construction of a privacy wall and restrictions on parking. The defendants also agreed to pay $25,000 to cover the plaintiffs' legal fees.
The prayer garden in Kerrville is expected to be the first of many that TCKF hopes to set up in cities around the world.
Aside from the 77-foot cross, the garden will also feature several sculptures created by the TCKF founder and artist Max Greiner Jr. On the floor tiles will be Bible verses intended to guide visitors to a "point of decision."
The garden, itself, will be in the shape of cross.