This cross is an original piece of art by Bill Heaton, one of America’s foremost artists. Heaton worked in metals and devised a new method of fashioning wall sculptures in a spectrum of hues. He used a large sheet of copper, brass, or aluminum and decorated the metal with hand-cut pieces of gold, silver, brass, steel, or lead that were then heated from underneath with a blowtorch. Then Heaton painted the work with a combination of chemicals to make a mural. The result was a shimmering surface of blues, greens, and reds.
Mrs. William Regen of Lebanon saw some of Heaton’s work and commissioned a cross for the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church. This work is called “I am the vine” from Jesus’ words in John: 15. On close inspection of the cross, the intricate pattern of vines can be seen woven among each other. This piece was given to First Presbyterian Church in 1965.