The Crossnore School
PO Box 249
Crossnore, NC 28616
Front view of the chapel The Completed Fresco    
Benjamin Long's drawing board Preparing the wall
The Crossnore School is a 93-year-old, private, non-profit children's home and school located in Avery County, North Carolina. The school was founded by Mary Martin Sloop, one of North Carolina's first female medical doctors. She and her husband, Dr. Eustace H. Sloop, moved from the piedmont to the mountains to carry out their mission of improving the quality of life in the impoverished mountains. The Crossnore School began as a boarding school to provide educational opportunities for disadvantaged mountain youth. It has evolved to serve approximately 300 abused, abandoned and neglected children each year from across the state's mountain and piedmont counties abandoned and neglected children each year from across the state's mountain and piedmont counties. The Crossnore School's mission is to provide a safe, stable, healing, living and learning environment for children from families in crisis. Children served range in age from 1 to 19 years. The Crossnore School specializes in giving children back their childhoods. Our special niche is keeping sibling groups together.

For several years, Crossnore School's Executive Director, Dr. Phyllis Crain, dreamed of transforming the dark, wormy chestnut walls of the campus's E. H. Sloop Chapel with a Benjamin Long, IV fresco. She knew she had to realize her dream when she held a child in her lap at a weekly chapel service. She listened as the little girl told her, "I don' t have anybody who loves me. Even my cat ran away." The generous contributions of Crossnore School's friends are making this dream a reality.

Currently in progress, the fresco at The Crossnore School will render the scripture of Mark 10:14, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." It will feature children who are residents at The Crossnore School.  E.H. Sloop Chapel was built of river rock in 1956, commissioned by Mary Martin Sloop to honor the life and work of her husband and provide a place of worship for the children of The Crossnore School.  The fresco will measure 16' x 9' on the chapel's back wall. As the focal point for the children as they exit the chapel, the fresco will leave them with an image of divine love and a positive father figure. The fresco is scheduled for completion by the end of June, 2006, and The Crossnore School welcomes visitors who want to observe the making of a masterpiece. Not only will this extraordinary work of art be a great source of strength and encouragement to the children who call Crossnore home, it will also be a great resource for helping others learn more about The Crossnore School's important work and ministry in the healing of abused children. As visitors and vacationers come to the mountains to see the fresco, they may be moved to support The Crossnore School's work.

For more information about The Crossnore School, its programs and the Benjamin Long, IV fresco, please call 828-733-4305 or visit our website at Groups are welcome to call and schedule a tour of campus, and E.H. Sloop Chapel will be open to observers as Benjamin Long, IV and his assistants create the fresco.

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