A pastor in Louisiana who erected the third-largest cross in America was arrested Wednesday evening and booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility on methamphetamine charges, the Shreveport Times reported Friday.
Andy C. Harris, 56, was charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives recovered 3.4 grams of meth along with smoking and snorting paraphernalia at his 3,519-square-foot home.
Harris was the senior pastor at The Church of the Cross, an Assemblies of God congregation perhaps best known for the 199-foot exterior cross it erected in 2009 on its property along U.S. 80 in Haughton.
It was under Harris’ administration that the 199-foot-tall cross was erected on church property in the Interstate-220/Interstate-20/US Highway 80 triangle. The cross – which in the United States is only shorter than one in Corpus Christi, Texas (210′) and St. Augustine, Florida (208′), 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. At the time, the area wa zoned R-A Residential Agriculture District, and the maximum height allowed under that designation was 45′.
Harris, politically astute and aware of the implications told the BPJ, “The common man on the street is going tto be looking att who’s for the cross and who’s not, and we all understand the ramifications…”