Our Team – Dedicated to the Cross

Stay Near the CROSS® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Christian faith through distribution of handmade oak crosses as a reminder of our faith and ministry. Our team consists of Supportive Partners, our Board and our Distribution Partner – also a non-profit organization.

The Cross — From Creation Through Distribution

A handmade keepsake for a lifetime of Christian faith.


The natural beauty of this wooden oak cross complements the glory of Christian faith. Each cross is unique. The wood for these handmade crosses comes from the Grand Teton area in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


The pieces for each cross are individually sawn from oak gathered from the Grand Teton area by Scott Schmillen, member of Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church

Photo Courtesy of Heidi Schmillen


Each cross is then carefully hand assembled by husband-and-wife team Scott and Jo Schmillen, members of Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church

Photo Courtesy of Heidi Schmillen


Crosses and supporting materials are packaged and shipped by Curative Connections, a non-profit organization providing compassionate, supportive care to individuals in need due to aging, dementia, brain injury or other disability

Our Board

Charles R. Barnum, Initial Director

Scott C. Barnum, Initial Director

Jeffrey Tengesdal, Initial Director
Senior Pastor at First English Lutheran Church

John Weyenberg, Initial Director
Executive Director of the Greater Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity

Lynn E. Tremble, Initial Director

Kay L. Murray, Initial Director

Our Distribution Partner


Curative Connections