The Light On Peachtree
by Betty Lee Kennedy
It was late March in 1949. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church was about to install a steeple with a lighted cross, the crowning glory on the newly constructed sanctuary.
My father-in-law, Clyde M. Kennedy, Jr., was Chairman of the Building Committee, and he was thrilled to be watching the final steps to completion. After waiting on materials because of World War II, the supplies were now available to raise the steeple and lighted cross to its rightful glory.
As the construction workers secured the steeple it towered over Peachtree Road, visible over all of Buckhead. The final touch was the cross shining brightly when the steeple was lit for the very first time.
My father-in-law remembered smiling as he looked up and saw the majestic cross shining above him. The four years of planning and waiting was now a reality. He could not contain his excitement. He got into his car and drove west on Peachtree Road, checking his rearview mirror to see how far from the church he could still see the lighted cross. He turned around and drove east keeping his eyes on the cross. His next trip was back to Piedmont Road and drove north, turned around and drove south on Piedmont, then to his home in Garden Hills. His kitchen window faced the direction of the church, and he wondered if he could see the light from his window. To his delight the cross shone brightly.
Eager to share this discovery, he called the minister, Dr. Nat Long, and said, “Nat, I can see our steeple from every direction in Buckhead including my own kitchen window!”
Dr. Long replied, “We truly are the Light on Peachtree.”
“The steeple silently points to the truth, beauty, and goodness of God; it points to God’s everlasting Kingdom. On top of the steeple at night is a beautiful lighted cross. In John’s Gospel is this sentence referring to Christ, “The light is still shining in the darkness, for the darkness can never put it out.” The lighted cross is declaring to God’s children who see it that darkness and despair will not have the final word in God’s world, but that Christ, the light of the world, will.”
The Story of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Nat Long, page 81