Andy Harris, 56, was a senior pastor at a Louisiana church famous for its 199-foot cross.
The landmark along U.S. 80 is a point of pride, adding a reverent gravitas to his pulpit at Haughton’s Church of the Cross, an Assemblies of God congregation just east of Shreveport.
But he’s been forced to leave the church in shame after his arrest Wednesday night for possession of methamphetamine, in his Bossier City home. Harris has been charged with possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Bossier Parish jail records.
A spokesperson for the church told KSLA church members were saddened by Harris’ arrest and resignation.
The Times reported that Harris admitted to using meth in his home during an interview in his office as part of an unrelated Bossier Parish sheriff’s investigation.
According to KTBS, Harris gave deputies consent to search his home, where they found 3.4 grams of meth, a pipe and a straw with residue on it.
Harris, who started preaching at Church of the Cross in 1996, according to KTAL, was instrumental in the construction of the church’s namesake landmark, the 199-foot cross. The project was originally turned down because of zoning concerns before a pair of state senators lent their support for an exception for the church.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Corpus Christi, Texas, will be home to the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere, at 230 feet, when construction on the Corpus Christi Cross Project is complete.