Hawkins church responds to criticism of pro-life display

Jeff Bobo • Mar 27, 2019 at 8:00 PM

SURGOINSVILLE — Although there has been some blowback on social media regarding Hope Community Church’s pro-life display that went up Saturday, pastor Doug Messer said the overall response has been positive.

On Saturday, Hope Community Church (HCC) members and volunteers built 2,000 crosses out of PVC pipe and posted them on the front lawn of the HCC’s Surgoinsville facility along Highway 11-W.

Each cross was intended to represent 800 of the babies predicted to be aborted in 2019.

Messer said the most common negative comment he noticed on social media regarding the event was a suggestion that HCC would have better served the community by using the money it spent putting up plastic crosses to help abused and neglected children in the area.

“Hope Community Church spends a whole lot of money on Camp Hope,” Messer noted.

Camp Hope, located in the New Canton community of Hawkins County, provides a weeklong, Christian-themed summer camp experience free of charge to nearly 1,000 children every summer.

Registration for this year’s summer camps begins April 7 at 2 p.m. online at http://camphopetn.com

“Through the camp, Hope Community Church ministers to lots of kids in the area who are abused and neglected or abandoned,” Messer added.

Messer said his hope is that the crosses will be viewed as a positive message.

“It wasn’t in any way intended to do anything other than saying we represent these aborted children,” Messer said. “It wasn’t to condemn anyone who had an abortion or make them feel bad.”

The timing of the cross display is intended to show support for pending legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly which says the state would accept and abide by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade if that occurs.