Claysville residents observe Good Friday with cross walk

April 18, 2014
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Robin Richards / Observer-Reporter
David Marsh,10, carries the cross from Claysville Baptist Church during the first leg of the annual Good Friday cross walk sponsored by the Claysville Association of Churches. David is assisted by Harper Webb, 4, center, and Elizabeth Marsh, 7, right. Stops along the walk were the clock on Main Street, Claysville United Methodist Cemetery and Purviance Cemetery. Order a Print
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Robin Richards / Observer-Reporter
About 30 worshippers took part in the annual Good Friday cross walk in Claysville, sponsored by the Claysville Association of Churches. The cross is carried along Main Street with stops at several of the churches for brief ceremonies. Shown above is the Rev. Rico Vespa, pastor of Claysville United Methodist Church, along with cross bearers David Marsh,10, Elizabeth Marsh, 7, and Harper Webb, 4. Order a Print

CLAYSVILLE – Gospel hymns echoed along Main Street in Claysville Friday as 30-plus members of area churches gathered for the annual cross walk to commemorate Good Friday.

Starting at the First Baptist Church and continuing up Main Street to the Purviance Cemetery, the more youthful members of the procession took turns carrying the cross, which, thankfully, was made of Styrofoam. The group made four stops during the half-mile walk for brief ceremonies, each representing one of the locations where Christ was prior to his crucifixion, The Rev. Meade Lacock of Claysville Christian Church said.

The Rev. Rico Vespa, of Claysville United Methodist Church, said the public display brings “witness not only to what Christ did, but allows people to remember that (Friday) is Good Friday and not just another business day.”

In its 20-plus years, the Claysville cross walk has undergone a variety of changes, including locations and crosses.

Nonetheless, it remains a tradition for many in the small community.

“I’ve been coming quite a few years,” said Louise Stewart, a member of the Claysville Christian Church. “It allows me to honor the death and rise of Jesus and gives me time to reflect.”

Jennifer Marsh brought her three children to the cross walk to help teach them the values of Christianity.

“We are celebrating Jesus’ life,” the Upper St. Clair resident said. “It’s important for kids to understand that.”

Marsh, a Claysville native, decided to join her mother, Mary Campsey, on Friday to make it a family affair.

Her son David, 10, helped to carry the cross.

“It was heavy,” he said.

Although the cross walk spanned close to two hours, David, his siblings and his cousins remained attentive. He said he even learned something new.

“God will always love you.”

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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