Local Resident Hands Out Crosses

If you’ve ever met Billy Grant, who resides in McDowell in Highland County, you’ve probably come away with a memento of the occasion – one or more small aluminum crosses. I recently spoke with Mr. Grant to find out the story behind this.

“Well, I was turned onto that, it’s been several years ago – I can’t really pinpoint it down to the year. But we had a motorcycle run over here years ago, and there was a fellow from Carolina, he had a bunch of crosses, and he gave me a bunch, and left a bunch at the church. And I started giving them out, and I ran out of crosses. So, I contacted him, and he gave me the fellow that he got his crosses from in Carolina, and so I’ve been ordering crosses from him ever since.

“This fellow has a fabricating business in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I guess he just stamps them out with the leftover aluminum that he has. He pays the postage and everything.”

I asked him if he had any estimate of how many crosses he has handed out.

“Well, he sent me three boxes that had over 3,000 apiece, and I’m on the last box, and it’s pretty close empty. And the fellow that was on the motorcycle, he gave me probably 2-3,000. So I suspect I’ve give(n out) over 10,000 crosses.”

I also asked why he does this.

“Well, the Lord kind of showed me to give a cross, and tell them that ‘Hey, somebody loves you’. And most of them will hesitate for a second or two, and say ‘Oh yeah, Jesus does!’ So, I’ve had really good success in handing out crosses, and before that, I wondered how many Christians that were in our country, but I’ve found out there’s quite a few.

“You know, we are in a world that need to know that their loved. And that cross sort of opens the door, and it gets people to think for a second, and then they realize that they’re loved. And it really changes them from one situation to another, and most of them I gave a cross to say ‘I really needed that today.’

“My wife and I were over at the Cracker Barrel at Christmas time a year or so ago, and I was in the truck waiting on her, and I thought, well, I better get in the store and give out a cross or two, and maybe bless somebody this Christmas. So, I did, and this lady was over in the last aisle by herself, and she was picking back and forth, odds and ends and so-forth. And I felt like that the Lord had me to give her a cross. So I walked up to her, and I said ‘You know, somebody loves you’, and I gave her a cross. And she threw her arms around me, and she said ‘Of all the people here in this store, and you come to me and give me a cross. You’re an angel.’ And I said ‘No, I’m not an angel’ She said, ‘My mother died last week, and I needed somebody to tell me they love me.’

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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