cross chasers: 19 hours in Knoxville, Tennessee
Since reading Benjamin Creme's book The Reappearance of the Christ and
the Masters of Wisdom, in 1981, I have been in 100 per cent agreement
with its message, as I understand it: Maitreya, the Christ, has returned
to the world.
Recently, drawing on my 50 years of experience in broadcasting, I decided
to try to help publicize some of the "signs" that Maitreya and
the Masters are placing in the world, specifically the crosses of light,
to awaken humanity to the truth that He is here. The crosses have appeared
around the world, most often in the windows of peoples' homes, exerting
a healing influence on the entire community where they exist.
the dedicated help of a network of volunteers around the United States
who inform me of new manifestations of Maitreya's work, I have become
known as the "Cross Chaser" from having appeared on scores of
radio and television shows explaining who placed those crosses in windows,
I recently returned from spending a day in the cross-saturated fundamentalist
Copper Ridge Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
5 January 1996, at 11 pm, a member of our group of observers called me
in Los Angeles. "Quick! Catch CBS-TV. There is going to be a report
on the crosses of light appearing in a tiny church in Knoxville, Tennessee."
the small, 135-year-old church, seating only 60 people, appeared on the
television screen it seemed to be on fire as a beautiful glowing cross
shone from each of its five windows. I had never heard of a group of crosses
appearing in a church; they generally appear in the homes of poor people,
shining in a bathroom window. I believed this tiny church might offer
an ideal opportunity to put Maitreya's story before the entire United
States, especially when Joe Bullard, the minister, said openly and honestly:
"I don't know what to say about these crosses. I can hardly keep
from believing it's a miracle!"
I could hardly wait until morning to call him and affirm his belief.
On 6 January, 1996, I called Joe Bullard at his home in Knoxville: "I
work with a group of people around the world who follow these sightings.
I can tell you who put those crosses in your church and why. Do you want
to know? I wish to respect your theological viewpoint. That's why I'm
asking if you wish to know."
responded: "I'm trying to learn as much as I can about this. It's
a beautiful mystery. Let me tell you a little bit about what happened.
I've been in the ministry for 51 years and I decided to relax a bit and
take on this small church part-time. It has only 14 members and most of
them don't come regularly. One evening last November my wife, Mildred,
and I drove by this lovely church as we thought about giving it up. We
stopped the car in amazement when a radiant white light seemed to surround
the entire building for a short time. We went home wondering what that
meant. Could this be a sign that we should stay? We didn't have long to
wait for the answer. On 8 November 1995, the next time I spoke to the
congregation, a bright light hit the side of the church and, as we looked
out of the window, we saw our first cross of light. We could hardly believe
it, but as they continue to appear, we know they are real."
I said: "Keep those church doors open to all people, believers and
non-believers alike, because healings will come to many who view them.
Watch for that to happen."
Joe replied: "Although some of our people don't like the idea of
non-members coming here, we just voted to keep the doors open as much
as we can. Thirty or 40 people a day of all kinds of beliefs are coming
to see them. We put a little collection plate out for those who wish to
contribute to keep the lights on, but we may not be able to afford to
keep the doors open long."
I said: "Hold on as long as you can. Our group will do what it can
to help publicize what is happening there. I'll get a media list of all
the radio, television and newspapers in your area and see if I can arrange
to get some interviews for you and me. You can tell them about the crosses
and healings that may have taken place and that we believe the crosses
were put there by the Christ, as each understands him, as a sign of hope
for the future and to heal many people.
"You can disagree with me if you feel it's necessary, and I'll respect
your right to your viewpoint. We'll work together to try to get as many
people as possible to see these crosses. I will start the publicity immediately,
as I am interviewed on three or four radio shows weekly around the nation.
I'll suggest that people come to Knoxville to see the wonderful works
of art which God's Representative has created in your church. I'll send
you our literature and I'll be in touch with you soon. Keep track of the
people who experience healings so that we can get their testimony later."
The Progression of Events
contacted every newspaper, television and radio station in the Knoxville
area and experienced stiff resistance to covering the crosses. However,
they said they'd think about it. One radio station, the most powerful
in the area, contacted me and said they had visited the church, saw the
crosses, and were fascinated by them. They wished to have Mr Bullard and
me on together to discuss what or who we believe might have caused the
crosses. We were set for an interview on 10 April, 1996. I called Mr Bullard
to see how they were doing.
Joe told me: "My board members and I have had some strange assurances
that something is really going on. One night, before people came to see
the crosses, we were sitting on one side of the church, when several of
us saw a tall man wearing a turban appear on the opposite side of the
church and walk slowly forward next to the wall. He was absolutely perfect
in form. Two other people then appeared who had more of a cloudy appearance
and they followed him forward. Every couple of steps the last person in
line turned slightly toward us and waved in a friendly manner. When they
reached the front of the church, they turned around and we expected to
see the two followers leading the way back, but the first man was again
in front and the others followed, as before. When they had made the walk
three times, they disappeared. That certainly caught the attention of
some of our members. They're still telling everybody about it!
"And then I got another experience. I had to go to the bathroom one
night and on my way back to bed a small cross appeared in the room and
I heard a voice say: 'Keep those church doors open and it won't be long
till I (or we) will be back'. I said: 'Who are you?' Then the cross and
the voice disappeared. I thought I was losing my mind for a minute."
The Radio Interview
Sixteen weeks after I first contacted Mr Bullard, I heard him describe,
during our radio interview, what had happened at his church. "We
have had 29,000 people come to see the crosses and several miracles so
far. The first miracle happened when 1,200 people were lined up inside
and outside and a blind man was brought into the church. We faced him
toward the crosses, with his two elderly attendants on each side. Suddenly,
he jumped up screaming that he could see, throwing down his cane and dark
glasses, and rushed out of the church and down the road. His attendants
frantically tried to get their car out of the parking lot to follow him
and we haven't seen any of them since."
My Trip to Knoxville
visited Knoxville to see the crosses for myself. I was overwhelmed with
the outpouring of the energy of love in that tiny chapel. Children and
adults alike were glowing with joy at the phenomena they experienced there.
I was astonished to see the size of the crosses which appear as you look
out of the church windows at night. Having seen many crosses in bathroom
windows which seem about four feet square, I was shocked by the beauty
of the crosses which stretch from the ground upward for at least 40 feet!
After my arrival in Knoxville, I appeared on the local ABC, CBS, and NBC
television newscasts, and Joe and I had a 60-minute interview on the most
powerful radio station in the area. When I visited the church, it was
packed with people eager to tell me how the crosses had affected their
lives. It was early evening, so the crosses weren't visible yet -- it
takes the combination of the sun going down and the street light coming
on. I had time to listen to people's stories before Mr Bullard started
his pre-manifestation explanation.
Some children and their mothers pulled me over to one window and explained
that when the sunlight hits just right some mornings you can look out
of that window and occasionally see some baby "angels" playing
on the grass outside the church. "And, look over here," one
of the children called as she ran across the church to the front window.
"Sometimes a baby sits here in the window but it goes away if you
try to touch it. Look on the window. You can see it's bare footprints."
I looked and in the glass two tiny baby's footprints were clearly visible.
"I wash those windows. They won't come out," an elderly woman
It was now about 8:35 pm and Joe asked the happy group of people representing
several states to sit for just a few minutes so that he could prepare
them for the appearance of the crosses.
"Dear friends," Joe graciously said, "we welcome you to
our church. I know we have some Presbyterians, some Baptists, of course,
some folks who say they don't believe in any religion, and even some Catholics
here tonight. Thank you for coming. I hope you wrote down the names of
people you wish us to pray for to be healed. We're mighty pleased to be
able to do that for you and we hope some of you here tonight will get
help from those crosses. Many people have had healings, some right away,
and some later on, but I have never met anyone who has come back (and
many do) who hasn't been helped in some way. The crosses have been here
only about six months and we have reports of over 100 couples whose marriages
were failing and who have patched up their differences after coming to
see these crosses a few times. This is 28 May and I'm happy to report
over 35,000 people have come through here since last November.
"It doesn't always happen, but when the crosses appear you can sometimes
see stairs appearing from the ground up to one of the arms. I don't know
why, but it's pretty. (The stairs did not appear this evening, but many
people told me they had seen them.)
They wouldn't fit!
may have noticed the big box of sunglasses by the door as you came in.
Sometimes the crosses which appear in the daytime, during the winter,
are so bright people have to wear those to keep their eyes from hurting.
You won't need them tonight, but the crosses will still be so bright,
a sort of reddish gold color, that you will have a hard time believing
what you are seeing. The windows you are looking through are only six
feet high and about three feet wide so it will be easy to see why the
crosses can't be in the glass as some people say. They wouldn't fit!
crosses should be here in just a few minutes, but I have time to tell
you about a healing that happened here. A lady came in with her thick
glasses on one day. She sat there looking at the crosses and suddenly
told us she couldn't see. We took her aside and told her to relax and
gradually her eyesight came back. I asked her if she wanted us to drive
her home and she said she'd be all right. I called her the next morning
and asked: 'Are you sure you're all right?' She said: 'Am I all right?
I should say so. I just read the entire Knoxville paper, without using
my glasses, for the first time in 20 years.'"
Just then, Joe looked dramatically at the windows and said: "Here
The congregation stood up and gasped in amazement as the fiery crosses
appeared 30 yards from the church, rising 40 feet or more into the air!
"That was an angel, mother"
I left that night people told me many stories of healing miracles, but
this is my favorite: Joe received a call one Sunday about noon from a
lady who said she had two young children, five and six years of age, who
had been given the wrong medicine by a doctor when they were six months
of age. Both children became deaf and could not speak. The mother said
she had been in the grocery store in Knoxville a couple of weeks ago with
her children and a tall man wearing a nice light suit and a wonderful
smile walked up to her children and gently touched each one on the head
as he said: "You won't always not be able to hear. Take your children
to the church in Knoxville with the crosses of light." The mother
asked the children in sign language who that man was. The children answered:
"That was an angel, mother." She turned to talk with the man,
but he had disappeared.
Joe waited at the church from noon until 6 pm when the mother called again.
"My children are both in the hospital. They had convulsions, but
I've just been told they will be released later this evening.
surgical nurse who was getting off duty at the hospital brought the mother
and children to the church. As soon as the children got to the front of
the church, one started excitedly signing and pointing out the window.
The mother said: "He says Jesus is just outside that window. Now
he's saying Jesus has come into the room and is walking down the stairs
and he is going to follow him." The congregation followed the mother
and child down the stairs and watched while the child signed to everyone
that Jesus was standing there, but no one else could see him.
Two weeks later the mother and her children came back to see the crosses
again and while they were there a jet plane flew over and both children
grabbed their ears and told their mother the sound hurt them.
She said both children were now hearing just enough to be aggravated that
they couldn't hear everything well yet and they'd be back regularly to
see the crosses. She said she was sorry she couldn't get to the radio
broadcast. We substituted her with a former motorcycle gang member and
cocaine addict who lost all craving for drugs when he saw the crosses
the first time. His testimony was quite convincing.
After a much too brief stay, I reluctantly left the small Copper Ridge
Baptist Church, where, for just a few hours, I had watched the magic of
Maitreya's unconditional love transform a diverse group of seekers into
"I can't get the hair on the back of my neck to do anything but stick
straight out these days. The crosses are indeed in the windows at the
Copper Ridge Baptist Church. That is a fact. It doesn't matter if you
believe it or not.... "There at first, I was a bit skeptical myself.
But now that I've seen
the crosses of Copper Ridge with these two eyes, I'm a believer....
(From: The Greenville Sun; columnist Bob Hurley)
Source: Share International
from: Share International July/August 1996
Letter from Reverend Joe Bullard (January-February 1998)
My wife, Mildred, and I recently experienced a great blessing and I feel
prompted to write to you about it. I'm Joe Bullard, the former Pastor of
Copper Ridge Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. As you reported
in your magazine, on 8 November 1995 an amazing display of crosses of light
suddenly appeared in the tiny church where I worked for 14 years. They were
magnificently beautiful and news of the healings of the deaf and the blind
and of drug addicts and of those spiritually and emotionally troubled spread
around the world. (Over 50,000 adults and children came the first year from
27 of the United States and seven foreign countries.) My family and I kept
the church doors open seven days a week so that everyone, believers and
non-believers alike, could see and feel God's energy in those 40-foot-high
and 40-foot-wide, flaming crosses.
However, shortly after the crowds started coming, a group of my church members
asked me to keep non-believers and those of other religious beliefs from
seeing the crosses and I resisted. I was asked to resign, but I refused,
so they cut off my $250-a-month salary and went to court to remove me. After
several months of our efforts to let the public see the crosses, my wife
and I were physically attacked and sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray
and we were taken by our children to the hospital to recuperate. To protect
my family, I turned the church over to the congregation and then some amazing
blessings happened. The judge in the court case awarded me some of my back
pay and required the congregation and their attorney to pay the court costs,
which relieved us of some of the financial anxiety of starting over again
The church is closed to all outsiders, the windows are being removed to
keep the crosses out, but Mildred and I took a drive along a deserted road
a few days ago and that's the great blessing I wish to report. No cars were
in front of us, no cars behind. Suddenly, standing at the side of the road
was a tall handsome man with a turban on his head and a marvellous smile
on his face. As we passed, he raised his hand up as if to say: "Do
you feel better now?" A surge of joy swept through us and I slammed
on the brake and tried to back up quickly to take a closer look, but he
Reverend Joe Bullard, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
from: Share International January/February 1998
Reprinted courtesy of © Share