Symbols of Love – A Man & His Crosses

Published 4:57 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

By Kelby Zendejas

Retired telephone employee Charles (Charlie) Slaughter spends his time crafting wooden crosses for his loved ones and has no hopes and dreams of selling them. 

His love for woodwork spans back to ten years ago, when he first realized that making wooden crosses was something he wanted everyone he loved to appreciate with him. 

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“I feel uncomfortable selling the crosses,” he said. “I make it for my friends and relatives and for people who want to come by and appreciate my work. It’s not something I ever want to make money off of.”

For Slaughter, walking the banks of Sardis Lake was enough to inspire him. He collected driftwood and suddenly realized he could make things out of it. Since Slaughter is a man of deep faith, crosses were the first thing that came to his mind. 

“I saw a cross and believed I could do that,” he said. “It caught my eye as a hobby and it gave me something to do.”

Originally from Memphis, Slaughter and his late wife moved to the Sardis Lake area in 1991 after he retired to be with his wife’s side of the family. Since then, Slaughter has grown a deep appreciation for the surrounding cities of Oxford and Batesville. 

During his time of employment, Slaughter worked as a telephone manager of installation and maintenance when he met his late wife at the same place of work. She worked as a telephone dispatch manager. They’ve been married ever since. 

Slaughter has two children, one son who passed away and one daughter who lives in Mobile, AL. Not only does he love to make crosses for the ones who live closest to him, he also loves to make these crosses for his daughter and her children and his great-grandchildren. 

His crosses are a symbol of love and appreciation for those who have passed on as well.

“It appreciates the people that I’ve known in the past and have passed on with their lives,” he said. “I hope it means they had a good life, most of them. I really miss my son, but I do have a grandson now.”

In the Bible, Jesus worked as a carpenter, and because of Slaughter’s deep-rooted faith, making these crosses is a bold symbol of faith in life. 

For Slaughter, making these crosses is only for those who can appreciate the simplest meaning of life and for him, it’s the story of Jesus.