Stanley Stiver with a nativity set, part of a display at the Southern Christmas Show, 1978. Used by permission of Southern Shows.
I am a collector of crosses. That is my magnificent obsession, you might say.
Rev. Stanley Stiver
Stanley Stiver is well known for his collection of crosses from throughout the world. Along with crosses, he has collected and displayed nativity sets and other religious objects as well.
Since 2006, he has donated his cross collection to different organizations. Crosses from his collection are on display in Hickory near the chapel at the Lutheran Home. The Claremont City Hall has an exhibit. For several years, panels were exhibited in the windows of the parish hall at St. Mark's, but had to be withdrawn due to the effect of the sun on many of the crosses. Tentative plans are for a permanent display to be created at St. Mark's. The remainder of his collection was donated to Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2009 when he moved from Hickory to Abernethy Laurels in Newton.
He began collecting crosses shortly after receiving his first call to New Orleans. More than just a hobby, his collection became an integral part of his ministry. During church services, a cross or other object of faith became a topic for a sermonette for children. He has presented and displayed his collection to many groups across Catawba County and North Carolina. For 15 years, he was featured at the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, where thousands saw his exhibits. A number of prominent newspaper articles featured his crosses and other items. At an individual level, he often wore an interesting cross that prompted conversations with strangers.
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Taken from CHRISTMAS: THE ANNUAL OF LITERATURE AND ART, VOL. 53,
copyright © 1983 Augsburg Publishing House. Used by permission of
Rev. Stiver has also shared his collection through print and the internet. In 1983, the Rev. Stiver published a beautiful article, "Born for the Cross," in Christmas: The Annual of Literature and Art. Prominent features on him in press have reached thousands of people. In 2005, his son David posted a web site, www.crosscrucifix.com based on the cross collection. Since then, close to 200,000 have visited the site.
Crosses on display at the new Claremont City Hall, 2002
From 2002 to 2006, rotating displays of Rev. Stiver's collection were housed in the new Claremont City Hall. There are some crosses still on display there. His largest crosses were donated to Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory. Eight display cases with crosses and other objects from the Holy Land were donated to the Lutheran Home in Hickory. Crosses from the United States were donated to St. Mark's in Claremont. Part of the 120th anniversary celebration of St. Mark's is the dedication of the cross collection that will be housed in the new windows of the parish hall.
Two of the eight display cases donated to the Lutheran Home, Hickory, North Carolina. They were dedicated on April 22, 2007, in honor of Mary Jane Stiver.
Additional articles (Some of the articles will take time to view.)
If you haven't walked down the hallway in front of our chapel recently, you've missed a very special presentation. more|
"Special Thank You for a Special Lutheran Home Friend," The Home News, Vol 45 (4), July-August, 2007.
|His eye is always looking—scanning storefronts, shelves, catalogs and airport gift shops. When it comes to hunting crosses, the Rev. Stanley Stiver rarely takes a rest, especially on the sabbath. more|
"Cross cultural collection: Stiver loves to tell the story of his crosses," The Observer News Enterprise, March 36, 2004, Profile 2004 Religion & Faith, pp. 1-2. Used by permission of The Observer News Enterprise.
At right, Pastor and Mrs. Stanley Stiver were among the citizens who toured the building, Pastor Stiver's collection of crosses will be part of an ongoing display at City Hall. more|
Larry Melton, "Claremont City Hall Dedicated," The Observer News Enterprise, 2002. Used by permission of The Observer News Enterprise.
One hundred of his crosses may be seen on display in the Claremont City Hall. more|
Cara Brickman, "Pastor displays crosses," Hickory Daily Record, 2002. Used by permission of Hickory Daily Record.
|The Rev. Stanley Stiver of Hickory is a fortunate collector. His 49-year passion for crosses has blended with his vocation and his travels, and his knowledge about each cross's history has made him a sought after speaker by civic groups, churches, and senior citizens' organizations. more |
Marti Rooke, "His crosses to bear," The Charlotte Observer, March 31, 2002 p. 1V. Used by permission of The Charlotte Observer.
|Stiver may not only have one of the best collections of crosses, but he probably has the best collection of July 21, 1969, front pages as well. more |
Mary Canrobert, "All eyes on the moon: Collection shows European news," The Charlotte Observer, July 21, 1999, pp. 1V, 8V. Used by permission of The Charlotte Observer.
|"The cross is the triumph of Christianity," he said. "A risen Christ is what really makes our Christianity." more|
Reg Moore, "Cross symbol of new life to Christians," Hickory Daily Record, April 1, 1988, p. B1. Used by permission of the Hickory Daily Record.
Bringing the real meaning of Christmas to the Piedmont with nativity scenes from around the world has been a mission of a Claremont minister and his wife for many years. more|
Reg Moore, "Nativity Scenes Show Similarities of Cultures," Hickory Daily Record, December 11, 1987, C1. Used by permission of Hickory Daily Record.
|This year his theme is Christmas and the cross in American history, with a special emphasis on the Carolinas. more|
Pat Borden, "Magnificent Obsession is Easy Cross to Bear," The Charlotte Observer, November 19, 1982, p 5C. Used by permission of The Charlotte Observer.
|The walls in the Rev. Stanley Stiver's study were bare white plaster when he came to St. Mark's Lutheran Church 19 years ago. Now they could be purple for all you can see of them. The Stiver's son used to have a bedroom in the parsonage ... About all you can find in either room now is crosses, paintings of Christ, crosses, nativity scenes, crosses, madonnas, and more crosses. more|
Jane Lee Lisenby, "If it's a cross, preacher Stiver probably has one," The Charlotte News, November 4, 1978, pp. 1A, 9A. Used by permission of The Charlotte Observer.
But if you're a dyed-in-the-wool sour puss, you'd better stay away from the Rev. Stiver; for he's an infectious person. Even recent jaw surgery, which altered the shape of his face and required his jaws to be wired closed for about two months, didn't destroy his effervescence." more|
"The Collector, "Southern Christmas Show, program, 1978, p. 16. Used by permission of Southern Shows.