A statue of Jesus Christ and accompanying artwork that has been displayed at Red Bank Baptist Church for more than a decade will be taken down by Thursday, according to church officials.
The art will be removed because a majority of the congregation voted that the 7-foot-tall statue and sculpted reliefs were “causing some confusion.”
According to the church, many people think the sculptures are Catholic and not representative of a Baptist church.
“We have discovered that there are people that view the art as Catholic in nature. We understand that this is not a Catholic icon, however, people perceive it in these terms,” said a letter that was signed by Dr. Jeff Wright, Red Bank’s senior pastor, and Mike Dennis, the church’s Chairman of Deacons.
The letter was sent to Bert Baker Jr., the Midlands artist who hand carved the statue for the church in 2007. Baker is a former member of the Red Bank Baptist Church congregation.
“I’m not interested in stirring the pot, but people not liking it because it looked too Catholic is crazy, man. It’s been up there for 11 years,” Baker told The State on Tuesday. “I don’t agree with the letter, it bothers me.”
Both the church’s letter and a two-page response from Baker were shared on Facebook by Rhonda Davis. Like Baker, Davis is unhappy with the church’s decision to remove the art.
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Source: Baptist Press