A businessman turned evangelist who has spent a fortune building crosses along roadsides in 28 states says he's down to his last $34.22. He's looking for a miracle to allow him to continue the project.
The Rev. Bernard Coffindaffer, 66, says a holy spirit appeared to him after his open-heart surgery in 1982 and told him to begin erecting what he calls "crosses of mercy.""The crosses are to remind people to remember that Jesus was crucified on a cross at Calvary for our sins and he will soon return. That's the only reason we put them up," he said.
Coffindaffer says he has spent about $2.4 million since 1984, when his Cast Thy Bread Inc. erected its first three-cross cluster about 65 miles north of Charleston.
The clusters now number 1,780. Standing 25 feet high and painted light blue and "Jerusalem gold," they dot interstate highways in places including Nazareth, Pa.; Zebulon, N.C.; Bethlehem, Ga.; Antioch, Ohio; and Philippi, W.Va. They also can be found as far west as Zolo, Kan., and in Zambia and the Philippines.
Despite his financial problems, Coffindaffer says he doesn't think he'll have to stop his work. "I didn't start this mission to quit."