The Rev. Bernard Coffindaffer, a businessman turned evangelist, spent a fortune building trios of crosses beside roads in 29 states and two other countries.
He drew national attention with his plan to erect trios of crosses -- one gold cross flanked by two white ones -- throughout the world. He spent more than $3 million on the crosses, wiping out money he had made after selling a coal-washing mill.
In an interview before he died, Mr. Coffindaffer said he built 1,842 cross clusters in 29 states, the Philippines and Zambia. The first trio of crosses, which stood 25 feet high, was erected in 1984 about 65 miles north of Charleston, West Virginia.
Jacob Young, a film maker at public television station WNPB-TV in Morgantown, made a documentary about Mr. Coffindaffer called "Point Man for God."
Mr. Coffindaffer said in a 1991 interview that a spirit appeared to him after open-heart surgery in 1982 and told him to begin erecting the crosses. "The crosses are to remind people to remember...