From: "VRWH" vrwhitehair
Date: 03/13/2009 11:46 AM
Subject: Fwd: Pictures of crosses
After attending the funeral of Calvin Bennett yesterday, I got to thinking about the
crosses on his mountain. Last December I visited with him and he told me all
about how he had been taking care of them over the years. I was impressed by
his dedication to the project, so I took a little hike to the top of the mountain and
snapped a few photos. (attached a couple of reduced ones to this message)
These are located just south of Hinton, WV on Zion Mountain. The dam in the
background is the Bluestone Dam on the New River.
I had seen the sets of three crosses around the country but didn't realize how big
they really were.
Regardless of ones religious convictions, or lack of, the cross project is impressive.
I enjoy seeing them - and I DO think of the meaning every time I see a set of them.
I attached a newspaper article below from the Beckley, WV paper
11, 2009 10:21 pm
— His family says he did it because of his love for God and his community.
For over 20 years, Calvin Bennett of Hinton was dedicated to the preservation, maintenance and decorative lighting of three large crosses on Zion Mountain.
Bennett, 69, died Monday, March 9, and his family plans to continue his tradition to the community in honor of him.
“Dad would walk up that mountain through the ice and snow each year to put up new lights on the three crosses,” said Bennett’s son, Stacy Bennett. “The lights would go on every Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. He did it for the community and his love of God.”
Stacy Bennett says his dad used horses to pull the crosses up the mountain when they were originally erected over two decades ago.
“He used a generator in the beginning for the lights and then later, by himself, he stretched electric wire up the mountain to get power to a timer to turn on the lights,” he said.
Stacy Bennett says his family plans to turn the lights on this week in honor of their father.
“We will turn them in his honor during the week he died each year in addition to turning them on during Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving,” he said.
Calvin Bennett died following a three-month illness. Condolences may be sent to the family at email@example.com, according to his obituary.
His funeral service will be at 10 a.m. today at the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel in Hinton. Burial will follow in the Calvin R. Bennett Cemetery on Zion Mountain Road.
- - -
Many people have seen the site of three crosses on the side of the road in many areas of the country. They were the idea of Rev. Bernard Coffindaffer who planted over 1,860 crosses in 29 states, Zambia and the Philippines.
Coffindaffer was a native of Craigsville and was the founder of the nonprofit Crosses of Mercy — Cast Thy Bread, Inc., now called Christian Crosses, Inc.
Coffindaffer a self-proclaimed Methodist minister, served seven small churches in Pochahontas County.
After two heart by-pass operations, he said he later had a vision.
“A genuine, marvelous, glorious vision,” he said. “The Holy Spirit instructed, blessed, dealt with me and told me how to go about installing these crosses.”
Coffindaffer said the three crosses were up for one sole reason.
“To remind people that Jesus was crucified on a cross at Calvary for our sins, and that He Is soon coming again,” he said.
He said the crosses would make people “stop and think.”
The three crosses symbolize Christ on the Cross flanked by the two thieves that were crucified with Him.
Coffindaffer died in 1993 of a heart attack at his home In Craigsville.
A total of 1,864 clusters of crosses were erected. More information and history about the crosses can be found online at christiancrosses.org.
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