Midlands church divided over removal of statue pastor says is “Catholic in nature”


The small town of Red Bank, just outside of the Midlands, made national headlines this week after controversy surrounding a statue on a Baptist church.

It’s the tale of a church divided. Members of the Red Bank Baptist Church are on the fence after the pastor announces the removal of a statue in front of the church.

Van Goff has lived next to the church since the 1960s. She’s surprised at the drama surrounding the statue. “I don’t know who decided to take it down, but it’s been a symbol of the church for many years. I think when you first drive up and see it. It gives you a great impression of that church.”

And the impression of the church is the pastor’s concern when it comes to this statue.

In his letter to the artist behind this sculpture, Pastor Dr. Jeff Wright writes, “We have discovered people view this art as Catholic in nature.”

But not everyone agrees.

 “I think it’s a pretty symbol of Jesus and for me to say they’re taking it down because it looks too Catholic. I don’t believe that,” said Goff.

The pastor says he initiated the vote on removing the statue, and the church agreed.

The letter says the statue has to be removed by the end of month. As of May 31st the statue was still in front of the church.

The artist behind the sculpture responded to the church’s letter. Delbert Baker writes, “There should be no confusion on the facts of Jesus’ birth, life events, the miracles, his crucifixion, death, and most importantly his resurrection.”

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