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Billboards herald no message, just ‘ Jesus’

— The North Little Rock billboard is 14 feet tall and 48 feet wide and five letters long: J-E-S-U-S.

The sign, green and white and made of vinyl, towers over Interstate 30’s southbound travelers.

A central Arkansas businessman pays Lamar Outdoor Advertising a sizable sum to lift up and illuminate it in the name of Jesus.

Billboard rentals in this heavily traveled corridor run about $1,500 per month, Lamar sales manager David Fraiser said. “Quite a bit of traffic goes through there, yes sir,” Fraiser said. More than 80,000 vehicles per day, he added.

The man who rents the space insisted on anonymity, saying he just wanted the billboard to point to Jesus.

The sign first appeared in the Little Rock area about five years ago. Identical billboards have dotted the St. Louis skyline for morethan a decade.

Bryan and Vicki Brand put up the first green and white Jesus sign in Missouri’s St. Louis County in the late 1990s.

“Back then ... alcohol, tobacco and gambling were the big three”billboard advertisers, Bryan Brand said.

The Brands decided they’d use roadway advertising to promote something loftier than malt liquor and Marlboros.

They’ve been churning out Jesus billboards, banners, yard signs, window stickers and tracts ever since.

“Our mission is to boldly publish the name of Jesus with dignity and simplicity,” said Brand, 65, an ordained minister and retired investment adviser.

He has his own Web site, www.jesusnameproject.org. During the past decade, fellow Christians have put up identical billboards in Illinois, Arkansas and Iowa, too.

The signs don’t quote Scripture verses or hype Web sites. They don’t tout a particular denomination or creed.

They’re painted green and white to evoke the official government road signs that line freeways.

The five-letter word on the billboard, Brand says, is no ordinary word.

“There is power in the name of Jesus,” he said. “Everything everyone everywhere ever needs is only Jesus.”

Religion, Pages 14 on 04/24/2010

Comments

RICK BOIGEGRAIN NickieD says...

And the point is?

Posted 24 April 2010, 8:21 p.m. Suggest removal

Randa Howlett Sunnyone64 says...

I pass this billboard every morning on my way to work. I am so glad the newspaper finally did an article on it. I thank God everyday and pray for the person(s) who boldly and unapologetically use resources God has given them to anonymously lift up the name of Jesus. He is my savior and is absolutely available to every nation, tribe and tongue so long as they believe He died for their sins and conquered death. Peace be with all!

Posted 24 April 2010, 8:58 p.m. Suggest removal

RICK BOIGEGRAIN NickieD says...

I hope you do all that "thanking" and "praying" when your NOT driving!
This kind of sub-moronic thought process is exactly what is wrong with this country. When one reads "sunnyone's" comments they don't even make sense. The subject and point is fuzzy at best... in other words; dude! What the hell are are talking about? Your whole statement is nothing but rhetoric and unassociated words strung together meaning nothing and reading like the gibberish it is under the best of conditions.
I ask again for 10K time, how did a god die for anyone's sins? Who did he "pay"? If Gee-sus was an incarnation of god then he could not die, therefore death is irrelevant to him, the god, (if there was such a thing as a god) so he didn't "conquere death" he invented it (if there was such a thing as a god) and then ignored it as only gods can do with the laws of physics. No big deal for a god, if it existed.
Your assertions about the supernatural are based on nothing more than wishful thinking with the probability of bad driving thrown in to boot. A billboard does not prove the existance of any god, even yours, just as your groveling, wishing and suplications prove nothing and accomplish nothing.
Time to act like adults and cast off the childish dreams and imaginings of a supernatural buddy who cares whether or not you put up a billboard with one of its incarnations name on it.

Posted 16 May 2010, 11:14 a.m. Suggest removal

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