Ahwatukee church apologizes for 'Vegas-like' cross

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Some said the lights at the Mountain Park Christian Church in Ahwatukee were obnoxious. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some said the lights at the Mountain Park Christian Church in Ahwatukee were obnoxious. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The lead pastor has apologized for the lights. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The lead pastor has apologized for the lights. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Allan Fuller said staff initially had trouble controlling the lights. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Allan Fuller said staff initially had trouble controlling the lights. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Fuller said the original idea was for it to act like a lighthouse, welcome all and let people traveling on the freeway to know they're almost home. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Fuller said the original idea was for it to act like a lighthouse, welcome all and let people traveling on the freeway to know they're almost home. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The lead pastor of a Valley church is addressing online complaints about how the church lights up its five-story cross.

Allan Fuller, lead pastor of Mountain Park Christian Church in Ahwatukee told 3TV/CBS 5 the facility is brand new and the staff is still trying to work out the kinks.

“It was flashing colors when we first plugged it in,” said Fuller. “We did not have control over the colors or how it was going to work for a few days.”

He explained, “There was a window where we were short-term Vegas. It was just a small window of Vegas.”

The flashing lights were turned on Oct. 28, 2017. Fuller said the staff fixed it to just purple spotlights last week.

"Our hope is that with a more subtle use of the light, that more can enjoy the look rather than be bothered by it," he said. "The design of the tower was so the light shined south and east (toward the Interstate 10 and Loop 202) and not to all the people are north and west. We were intentional. We don’t want to bother you in your homes."

Some have said the display is still too obnoxious and looked like it should fit on the Las Vegas strip.

“We want to be a symbol of light and hope for people coming into the community,” Fuller explained. "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."

Fuller said the original idea was for it to act like a lighthouse, welcome all and let people traveling on the freeway to know they're almost home. He knows many people pass by the corner and they wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to let people know it's there.

The look and design of the church are far from traditional and Fuller said that's the point. The church's mission is to focus on community.

"We want the building to be used for a number of different events," he said.

"If it’s still a problem or a struggle, yes, please come talk with us. We’re learning how to adjust the lights," said Fuller. "It was absolutely not our intention to upset anybody and we’re very sorry that it has come across that way."

Mountain Park Church has been in the Valley for 30 years and falls under the "Church of God" movement. Fuller said it just opened Oct. 1, 2017, in this new building and location. The old location, about 5 miles away, had to be demolished to make way for the Loop 202 extension project.

[READ MORE: Ahwatukee church moves cross, locations due to Loop 202 construction]

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