Tucked away in Faulkner County just north of Little Rock, Arkansas sits the Beryl Baptist Church. Located in the town of Vilonia, it's flock is righteously tended to by Pastor John Lindsey, the 2nd. Faulkner County is like many rural counties across this country. Median income is just below the National average and more people did not go to college than did.
What I find interesting is that for a population of around 88,000 people, there are roughly 121 churches of some kind. According to demographic information I found, these 121 homes of worship serve roughly 53% of the locals who claim to belong to one church or another. 121 places to pray for 47,000 people. Far and away the single largest block are the Baptists. They claim 48 churches with about 25,000 folks claiming to believe. You add in the other evangelical protestants and Faulkner county is Jerry Falwell heaven.
I found this sign on another blog. It was a blog that proudly proclaimed it's disdain for religion. The image is supposedly real and not one of those Photo-shopped images, or one of those goofy "fill in your slogan of choice" images. The real McCoy. Someone supposedly thought this would make sense to their parishioners.
But finding it on an anti religious site made me suspicious. I began a search to find out the truth of it. So far, I have found nothing to disprove or corroborate it's authenticity. And that really pisses me off. I was hoping to be able to debunk it or reinforce it. My plan got shot in the butt.
I did verify that John Lindsey is the Pastor of the Beryl Baptist Church. I even found a picture of him playing pool after a hard day on the revival circuit. But no where could I confirm or deny the message in this sign. So here I am with all this useless information about a church, a county, 121 churches and 88,000 people who I would guess could not care less if the sign is real or not. Well, I am assuming at least 47% of them do not care one way or the other.
After all this digging and prodding Google in the right direction, I feel my efforts should amount to something. At least one post regarding the message, my frustration, or even some pithy comments on why the Hell are there so many churches in one county?
So why don't I just look at this message?
I would be one of the first people to claim I do not see much logic in many religious takes. I will also be there with those who claim that faith does not need reason or logic to exist. But to say reason is the enemy of faith publicly on a church sign is just not logical. I cannot believe that even the hardest core bible thumpers would come up with this message. Church folks are not all dumasses they are played up to be. Yeah, many have blind spots regarding their beliefs, but I have never considered them imbeciles.
So lacking any evidence in either direction I think someone is pulling the Internet's leg again. Or maybe I just have more faith in my fellow man than some would consider reasonable.
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