HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The iconic Cosmic Christ mosaic at the First Baptist Church on Governors Drive in Huntsville is giving away pieces of the original art work as the project to replace it begins.

The church will be giving away 500 pieces of the small glass tiles on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the church.

The mosaic, which depicts Jesus Christ surrounded by the cosmos, is 47 feet high and 154 feet long.

The mosaic was designed and fabricated by stained glass artist Gordon William Smith and was composed of more than 1.4 million pieces. The mosaic was dedicated in 1974.

The mosaic has come to be known as “Eggbeater Jesus” — a somewhat irreverent nickname that the church does not embrace.

“In so many ways, the mosaic is representative of our community,” Senior Pastor Travis Collins said in the announcement about the tile giveaway. “Countless individual pieces, each unique, each weathered, but that all come together to form a beautiful image of inspiration. We’ve said we’d like for the work on the mosaic to serve as a celebration and a way to learn. We believe this event will begin that celebration.”

The new mosaic will be constructed with more than 4.3 million blown glass tiles and nearly 1,000 colors, the announcement said. Installation of the new mosaic pieces will occur in phases over the next five years.

The church is also inviting those interested in collecting the discarded tiles to have their picture taken in front of the mosaic. The photos may be used in an upcoming church film project highlighting the mosaic and its representation of the mission of the church.

“The mosaic is a beautiful celebration of Christ but it’s what happens behind it, it’s the compassion and love our congregation gives to the community that is the best celebration,” Collins said in the announcement. “We’re at our best when we come together to make a positive impact in our community and want to invite them to be a part of that celebration.”

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PAUL GATTIS
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