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Report of angelic visitation part of tomb replica’s history

COVINGTON, Ky. (BP)–Though many years have passed, the story hasn’t lost any of its dramatic flair.
When Morris Coers planned to build the replica of Christ’s tomb that overlooks the downtown Cincinnati skyline, he paid attention to painstaking details — with one exception. The Jerusalem tomb sat on level ground. Not so with the Covington, Ky., replica, which was on top of a hill.
Because of the changes in Kentucky’s weather, the freeze-thaw-freeze cycles caused the area around the tomb to slip.
Coers, then pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, had overlooked that drawback.
For two years, the hillside had to be shored up each spring. Another rough winter and the tomb could be lying at the bottom of the hill. The pastor wondered whether the problem would force him to abandon his dream.
One morning the garden committee from Immanuel Baptist Church was standing at the tomb, discussing whether they would have to abandon the project. The pastor walked to another part of the garden to pray.
Suddenly a tall gentleman wearing bib overalls appeared, asking for Coers. Directing him to where he was praying, the committee watched as the pair talked for some time.
Finally, the stranger left and their pastor came running with a paper in his hand.
The stranger said he was an engineer who had built tunnels and bridges for the railroad out of West Virginia. Sketching a plan for the tomb’s foundation and area around it, he guaranteed if they followed it the area would never slide again.
The committee decided they had nothing to lose. They followed the directions, holding their breath when the next spring approached. The hill held and has not moved for more than 40 years.
After the garden opened, Coers felt the stranger should be invited to the dedication and publicly thanked. He went to the address the stranger had listed, but it was nonexistent. When he called the trade union of the railroad where the man said he had worked for 20 years, the company said they had never heard of him.
This miraculous story appeared in Joan Wester Anderson’s book, “Where Angels Walk.” And members of Immanuel Baptist believe amazing things will occur there again.
“I’m in awe of what God is doing on that hillside and has been for the past five years,” said church secretary Roxie Jacoby. “He’s bringing born-again believers together to praise God and a lot of children onto the hill. God is reaching people through the garden.”
Ben Murry, until recently Immanuel’s pastor, said every child who visits receives a gospel tract explaining who Jesus was, as well as verbal explanations in the chapel and carpenter’s shop.
“As a witness to the community, it’s a good, positive witness that Christians can work together and exalt Christ,” he said.

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  • Ken Walker