Churches React to Controversial Sign - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/8/05-Tyler

Churches React to Controversial Sign

Churches in East Texas have also been getting calls from their members who are offended by the controversial sign outside Woodland Hills Baptist Church and the message it could send about East Texas.

Two ministers we talked to are actually housing evacuees and the others are trying to help any way they can. It's a controversy they'd like to turn around.

Pastor Dale Perry at Friendly Baptist Church says, "We're about helping those that need and we've got people that have come into this area who have lost their families, they have lost their homes, everything. So what we're about is helping them rather than really being concerned about what people put on a marquee."

Dr. David Dykes at Green Acres Baptist Church says, "Some of the evacuees here in Tyler have seen that sign and have been greatly offended by it and hurt and I think they need to not go look at that sign. They need to come look at our Family Life Center where hundreds of evacuees are being cared for, go to First Christian, Marvin Methodist and the other churches who are showing the love of Jesus to these people.

Pastor Mark Price with SouthSide Baptist Church says, "There's a time for everything, the Bible says. There's a time when we preach judgement, but there's also a time when we teach grace, mercy, love and hope and I think we're in a time when we preach the love, grace, mercy and hope."

Dr. Mike Dent at Marvin United Methodist Church says, "I would want them to know what they have experienced here is God's gracious compassion through his people, that God's love is for us in the midst of the storm. God doesn't create the storm, but brings us through the storm to comfort us and to care for us and lead us forward in a very difficult time for these people."

While the ministers we talked to do not agree with Woodland Hills Baptist Church's timing or message on their sign, they did say Pastor Wiley Bennett has the freedom of speech.

Dana Dixon, reporting.  ddixon@kltv.com

 

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