Arizona pastor apologizes for flashing 'Las Vegas-like cross' after online complaints

The lead pastor of a church in Ahwatukee in Arizona apologized after receiving online complaints about their newly installed five-storey cross which had blinking lights reminiscent of the ones found in Las Vegas.

(REUTERS / Richard Brian / Files)A view of the 'Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas' neon sign is seen before Earth Hour in Las Vegas, Nevada, in this March 27, 2010, file photo.

Speaking to CBS 5, Mountain Park Christian Church lead pastor Allan Fuller explained that the cross displayed flashing colors when it was installed on Oct. 28. He said they initially did not have control over the pattern of the colors, but their staff was able to fix it so that it only displayed purple spotlights.

"We want to be a symbol of light and hope for people coming into the community," said Pastor Fuller. "It was never our intention to have flashing lights. We've read the comments and we really want to apologize to the community for ways that we came across that are not consistent with what our intentions are."

In addition, Pastor Fuller conveyed the hope that their current use of the lights will allow people to enjoy looking at their brand new church cross, which was also intended to serve similar to a lighthouse that would welcome people as they approached home. He also revealed that they specifically designed the tower to face Interstate 10 and Loop 202 in the south and east instead of the residences in the north and west.

Despite the explanation and the change, some people still thought the cross was "too obnoxious" and only belonged on the Las Vegas strip. Pastor Fuller, on the other hand, invited the disgruntled viewers to approach them if they still had problems with the tower.

In June, WCNC published an article about the controversy stirred by Iredell County's Fellowship Baptist Church over a message it featured on its front sign. For several days, the signage along Buffalo Shoals Road read: "Remember Satan was the first to demand equal rights."

Some people thought that the Baptist church's sign was inappropriate. A mother of seven children of mixed race said she had been driven to tears over the message, as she had the impression that it was racist.

The church later posted an apology on its official Facebook page and said it did not mean to offend anyone or any group. It explained that the message was about the devil who wanted to be God.