Cross-shaped pier built on public beach sparks Jersey Shore ‘holy war’, religious group stands firm

A number of Jersey Shore residents are incensed and offended over a religious group’s fishing pier design that is in the shape of a Christian cross and is being built on a public beach.

(Video Credit: News 12)

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is steadfastly defending the design regardless of the intense backlash over it and told News12 that it makes “no apology for that we love the fact that it looks like a cross.”

The community was founded on religious beliefs, according to the Daily Mail and the original pier in Ocean Grove was destroyed during Superstorm Andy in 2012.

The $1.3 million, 500-foot-long, t-shaped pier design will be open to the public and will be rebuilt with private funds. According to, approval for the pier did not need to go through officials.

Some residents are calling the pier “Christian bullying” following its groundbreaking in July. They are demanding that state and local officials intervene. The pier is slated to open on December 7.

Astonishingly, the charge of “bullying” comes from Presbyterian Pastor Douglas Grote.

“With the pier’s construction set to begin soon, I fear that my faith’s lovely cross may soon become as toxic as a Trojan horse for Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and all of New Jersey,” he wrote in a guest column for

The pastor claims that the pier is just another type of “holier than thou” bullying that is familiar in what some call “God’s square mile.”

“To me, any political power that would appear to bully its captive, vulnerable, secular citizenry into accepting a sectarian cross as the center of its cultural life is a likely human rights violator,” he bizarrely asserted.

Grote intends to bring a motion to the floor at the next Ocean Grove Home Owners Association meeting on September 24 in protest of the pier. He wants a vote asking the camp meeting association to halt construction of the pier “until matters are investigated, all of its citizenry are consulted, and approve the cross-shaped pier, or not, just like democracy ought to work.”

Camp Meeting Association COO Jamie Jackson told News12 New Jersey, “This is a religious town founded as such in Ocean Grove and most people are excited we will be able to have this pier shaped this way for these purposes.”

“We’ve added the extensions north and south to create opportunities for better life saving, weather stations, lightning detection,” he commented.

Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 as a Methodist summer camp. It is a seaside community just south of Asbury Park and has a population of 3,100. The Camp Meeting Association owns all the land in Ocean Grove, including the beach, boardwalk, and the area where the pier will be built, according to the New York Post.

“Our hope continues to be that people of varying points of view will enjoy the peace of a stroll out over the Atlantic on the new pier,” Michael Badger, president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, told the New York Post in an interview.

According to Badger, the design has been available online for the past three years and there were no complaints during that time.

“The Christian interpretation of the cross is that it is a symbol of God’s love and forgiveness,” he noted. “It is disappointing that anyone would seek to block a sacred symbol on private property from public view regardless of whether you interpret the shape as a pier, a plus sign, or cross.”

“There was no idea that this could be perceived as Christian nationalism,” Badger defensively stated. “It’s not a part of who the camp meeting association is.”

Woke leftist Ocean Grove residents Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster are furious over the pier, saying, “Ocean Grove is a diverse community including LGBTQ residents and people of various religious affiliations, who are never asked for input about the OGCMA projects that impact all of us. … The problem is not solely the pier in the shape of the cross, but the total lack of regard for their tenants.”

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.


Scroll down for non-member comments or join our insider conversations by becoming a member. We'd love to have you!

Latest Articles