The Junaluska Cross
The Junaluska Cross, which stands at the entrance to Mount Shepherd Retreat Center, once stood above the beautiful lake at Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds, near Waynesville, North Carolina. Erected in 1922 the cross was a beacon of hope during the great depression, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and the social upheavals of the sixties and seventies. In the 1994, the cross began to show its age. Weather and time had taken its toll. So, the cross was removed and replaced with a duplicate. But what was to become of the original Junaluska Cross? The cross, a symbol of our Christian faith and rich in Methodist history, could not be discarded. When Mount Shepherd heard that the cross was lying behind a building a petition was presented at the Jurisdictional Conference in 1998. The petition requested the “permanent loan” of the cross to Mount Shepherd with the promise that the cross would be restored and put back in service at Mount Shepherd.
With the support of private donations and after extensive work and repair the cross was restored and put back in service in 2000 at Mount Shepherd where it shines brightly each night as it did at Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds. The base on which the cross sits is an exact duplicate of the base at the Assembly Grounds.