Our Sanctuary Cross
When SOTD was looking for a cross for their new sanctuary, the church architect recommended an artist named Robert Berg, a former student at the University of New Mexico. Robert originally created the cross for the University, but they felt it was “too Christian.” Pastor Beyer met Mr. Berg, who then had an art studio in Scottsdale, and soon the Bergs donated that same cross to Shepherd.
As told by Pastor Eugene Beyer...
Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church was being built, and the leadership team was looking for a cross. (Jerry Conwell had agreed to donate one when found.) The church’s architect, Frances Schultz, showed Pastor Beyer a magazine picture of a cross he had seen that won an award. It was created by a University of New Mexico student named Robert Berg. Bob had created it out of antique glass and presented it to the chapel at the University. They turned it down, claiming it was “too Christian.” Pastor Beyer learned that Bob Berg had a studio in Scottsdale, so he went to inquire about his work, hoping to commission a similar cross. Surprisingly, Bob still had the cross from the picture, hanging in his studio. He came to measure the altar area when the dry wall was being put in. He returned to measure again, then offered the cross to Shepherd. Bob could not donate the cross himself, so his wife bought it from him and she donated it to SOTD. The cross was valued at $12,000 at one point. Both Bob Berg and his wife at the time were featured in Phoenix Home and Garden magazine as “Masters of the Southwest” artists.