Have you ever driven down an Interstate 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. As radio commentator Paul Harvey says, “And here is the rest of the story.”

Bernard Coffindaffer, was born in 1925 to West German parents who had emigrated to the U.S. before his birth. His father died when he was still a baby and his mother died with cancer when he was ten years old, leaving him an orphan. Despite these trying circumstances, Coffindaffer graduated from high school at the age of fourteen and then served six years in the U. S. Marine Corps with tours of duty in the Pacific, Iwo Jima, and Nagasaki, Japan. He graduated from the University of Charleston with a degree in business, and then returned to his West Virginia homeland. He worked in the oil industry as a young man, and later founded a coal-washing business in the West Virginia mountains in an economically deprived location. His business was enormously successful. When he was 42, Coffindaffer studied the ministry, becoming a Methodist minister and serving seven small churches in Pocahontas County.

On September 28, 1984, Coffindaffer erected the first three-cross cluster 65 miles north of Charleston, W.Va. Over the course of the next nine years, Coffindaffer had an office in the basement of his home, as well as seven full-time work crews. The 25 foot tall crosses were then built from California Douglas fir, weighing about 400 pounds each. The center cross is painted gold and the two crosses on either side are painted a pale blue. The three crosses symbolize Christ on the cross, flanked by the two thieves who were crucified with him.

Site owners donated the land's use for the crosses and Coffindaffer paid all the bills. The successful businessman turned colorful evangelist attracted the attention of the media when he became the subject of a PBS documentary about his life titled, "Point Man for God." He was also shown on the award-winning series "Different Drummer," and CBS News did a story about him on its popular program "CBS Sunday Morning." When he died in 1993 of a heart attack at his home, his ministry, Cast Thy Bread, Inc., ceased operation with no money in reserve.

In 1999, Sara Stevenson Abraham made the decision to pick up where Coffindaffer had left off and revive the project of planting crosses for the world to see. Abraham formed a new non-profit organization called Crosses Across America, Inc., and opened a National Headquarters in Vicksburg. Her organization has big plans for expanding Coffindaffer’s original mission by installing new clusters of crosses every 50 miles on either side of some 45,000 miles of interstate highways and thoroughfares that crisscross North America. The new crosses will be more durable because they will be constructed of a plastic-like material and will never again need repairing or painting,