On a blazing hot afternoon June 25, about two dozen people worked together at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center to replace the ministry’s rough-hewn cross. Guided by Steve Zack, director of facilities, and Ned Collins, chief of operations, St. Christopher workers took more than three hours to hoist the new cross into its place.
The cross it replaced had become home to a red-headed woodpecker and her chicks, so the team merely removed its crossbar, in hopes of preserving the nest until the chicks have grown to maturity.
In a first effort, Dom Washington drove a Kubota tractor with a forklift and did much of the heavy lifting. More than a dozen campers joined staff in the work, tugging together on ropes to prevent the cross from tipping.
The cross, created from fresh-cut trees, moved with a momentum of its own, forcing the workers to dig different guidance paths through the sand. Hours of digging had already created a hole of six feet for the foundation of the cross.
The team worked amid a day of chaos in the surrounding environment. A wildfire had burned across the North Edisto River overnight, and it spread further in the afternoon, sending waves of dark smoke into the air. An unusually busy swarm of dragonflies darted around the workers.
The new cross finally found its slot by about 5:30 p.m., and later stood in the beauty of a new morning.