Three Crosses Along the Highway

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Three CrossesHave you ever been driving down the highway and wondered about the three crosses you've seen along the roadside?

They were put up by a man named Bernard Coffindaffer, who was born in Craigsville, West Virginia.  At 42 years of age, Mr. Coffindaffer became a Christian and had a vision to "plant crosses". 

He raised and spent $3,000,000 planting 1,864 trios of crosses in 29 states, Zambia and the Philippines.  West Virginia has 352 sets of crosses, the most of any state.

The crosses are for everyone, he said.  Not for saints or sinners, but for everyone, just a reminder of Jesus as you drive by. 

You can't see it from the highway, but the crosses have three nails in them, symbolic of where a body would be.

Mr. Coffindaffer died at his home in 1993.  His crosses are now cared for by the people who own the land, or by nearby churches who "adopt" the crosses. 

Almost anywhere I drive, I pass crosses.  I am inspired that one person could present such a strong reminder to the world in such a simple way.  With just a glance as I whiz by at 70 miles per hour along the Interstate, I receive a gentle message. 


Comments (31)

Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA
Sarah, on a hill above a large meadow, at the first bend in Wickwire Run Road as you come from Blueville in Grafton, WV, there is a set just like this one. Thanks for this post...
Mar 30, 2007 01:21 AM
Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV

You're welcome, Jeff. 

I wasn't sure if I should even get into anything religious, but it's my blog.  I only follow my rules in my blog.  I wanted to share these crosses because I like them and they speak of West Virginia, so I did.

It made you think of West Virginia, and it made Maggie cry, so to me it ranks as a Good Post.

Mar 30, 2007 03:32 AM
Frances Fogerson

Your grandmother once told me that Rev. Coffindaffer was married to a woman who spent her childhood living on Scary Creek.  I remember this woman as a child.  Her name was June Holbrook or Holstein, I think.


Mar 30, 2007 04:34 AM
Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV
Hi, Mom!  I had no idea, that's pretty neat!  I didn't even know who made the crosses until I wanted to blog about them.  I just liked them and wanted to tell people about them, so I had to do a little research.  I learn a lot by having a blog. 
Mar 30, 2007 04:58 AM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |
oooh, you are such a lucky gal to have your Mom reading your blog.  Hi Mrs. Fogerson!  My Mom's pretty neat but she's no blog reader lol
Mar 30, 2007 07:10 AM
Bob Sloop, Consultant, Indianapolis, IN
RS Mortgage Consulting - Indianapolis, IN
God is good. This is awesome, and I thank you for sharing...
Mar 30, 2007 08:46 AM
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Sarah, I've seen these crosses, but I can't remember what state.. I want to say South Dakota. Sometimes moving too much messes with the  mind! Thanks for the info, I didn't know there was a story behind them, and a meaningful one at that.
Mar 30, 2007 11:07 PM
Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV

Hi, Maggie!  I do love that Mom reads my blog.  Well, I love that ANYONE reads my blog, but it's especially nice when Mom stops by.

Hi, Bob!  Great to see you as always!  I'm glad you liked this.

Hi, Lysa!  I wanted to make sure I told about them because I had a friend who moved here from another state (her husband went to State Trooper training with my brother) and she wasn't sure what these meant, maybe they were even a "bad" sign, like a cross burning in a yard???  NOOOOO, I told her what I knew about them, that they're a GOOD thing.  Suddenly WV looked so much more friendly to her.  *Whew!*

Mar 30, 2007 11:38 PM
Julie Ferenzi
john greene Realtor - Plainfield, IL
Julie Ferenzi

Wow, did anyone else cry when they read this blog and listened to the song, or was it just me?

My sister was raised in West Virginia and I always see a ton of crosses on our trips out to visit.  Thanks for sharing the story behind it! 

Apr 04, 2007 02:44 PM

I was so sad when I tried to view the video and it was no longer available but I understood because I know nothing on earth last forever. Our minister's sermon was on "The Cross" and he mentioned Bernard Coffindaffer. My husband is a retired West Virginia State Policeman and I to was from WVa. 

Thanks you for your BLOG.  

Sep 09, 2007 04:05 AM
Roger from Ohio

Three crosses along the highway are inspirational, atheists are trying to have them removed, really sad people feel they have a right to impose their will on the masses. Maybe god is trying to tell them something by the displaying of the crosses.

Jan 02, 2008 12:57 AM

I am so thankful to have found this blog!  I was born and raised in Morgantown WV so I am very familar with these crosses.  Everytime we would pass a set my mother would point them out then we would say a quick prayer.  After her death in 2002 of breast cancer I started thinking about the crosses more and more.  My husband, son, and I just got back from a trip to Maryland, (we live in Kentucky), and I noticed too many of the crosses are in desperate need of a new coat of paint.  So I got online to see if I could find information and your blog popped up.  Is there a master list of where all the crosses are located?  I would love to make it my mission to insure the crosses stay in presteen condition for everyone to enjoy.  Any suggestions on how to go about this mission?  Thanks so much!


Mar 30, 2008 11:35 AM
It is me again, I actually found a website where there is information on how to restore them, what paint formula to use as well as the future of the crosses.  I am excited and I look forward to helping this group to not only put up more crosses but to restore the ones already up.
Mar 30, 2008 11:48 AM
Scott of Farmersburg

Could you tell me the significance of the different colors of each cross?

Jun 28, 2008 06:10 PM
Sarah Cooper

Scott, I don't know what the colors mean, only that they are specific and are the same for all sets. 

Jun 28, 2008 10:26 PM

hey sarah thanks for the story , you should put a  new song on there cuz the old one is deleted.

Jan 14, 2009 08:51 PM
Ray Jackson

Hi Sarah,

   Thanks for sharing the story behind the three crosses. I have seen many of them and wondered about what they meant.


Feb 12, 2009 11:12 AM
Ray Jackson

Hi Sarah,

   This is sort of a post script to the original comment I sent. If anyone wants to know more about the crosses, including the current status, they can go to

There is a great deal of information there as well as an indication of hope for the future of the crosses themselves.



Feb 12, 2009 11:26 AM

i thought it was where important pepole died because i drove through w va yesterday

Apr 11, 2009 09:53 AM
The Way

This site and facebook page: . It  was created by a veteran as he helped saved the site 244 with lots of friends and volunteers.  Also, because the "original" crosses, are being ignored and falling, while others are building more new ones.   Yes there are a select few that still look great.  but shouldn't we fix the original ones first before spending thousands on new ones.  Little was spent on moving a set.   Maybe it's just a sinful vet from WV way of thinking.   

Apr 24, 2015 11:46 PM