Parishioners Make ‘Miraculous’ Find in Modesto Tree Trunk

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MODESTO --

Some call it a miraculous find at a church in Modesto -- a cross imprinted within a 30-year-old tree trunk. The parishioner who found the cross said it was discovered about two months ago when the tree was cut down at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Dark brown hues are surrounded by lighter wood. Some see a cross.

“In my lifetime, I’ve never seen nothing like that,” Jim Cross, a parishioner said.

Others see a miracle.

“By golly, there is something there,” Father Glenn Kanestrom with Saint Paul's Episcopal Church said.

But they agree that it’s something of a phenomenon. The image has left quite the impression on all who've seen it, including those who found it.

Parishioner Jim Bland and his 10-year-old grandson were there when the discovery was made almost two months ago.

"They said it looks like a cross. So my grandson looked at it and said, ‘No Papa, this, that’s Jesus,’” he explained.

Bland said he was supervising the pine tree's removal because it had caused problems for the church's roof and had to be cut down.

“Who would know it was inside that church all these years?” Bland said of the image.

After the once 70-foot giant was cut down and chopped into pieces, that's when they saw what they said looked like a cross.

“I like to call it just a sign of God’s presence with us, God’s signs are everywhere,” the priest said.

So far, Father Kanestrom said the church has received dozens of emails about the "holy tree trunk," which will be moving off the church's office floor and into a new home.

"And maybe it was something to be put out there for people to see and look at," Bland told FOX40.

It will soon be housed under stained glass, among books of hymns inside the church.  And if you want to visit you’ll be able to -- by appointment and every Sunday.

Bland said he did paint a clear coat on the tree trunk to protect it for years to come.

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