Toledo church sign controversy: Inspirational or insulting? - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo church sign controversy: Inspirational or insulting?

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Inspirational or insulting?

The message on a church sign in Toledo is drawing attention.

Hampton Park Christian Church is located at the corner of Monroe and Rushland, near Douglas.

The sign at the church in West Toledo reads, “Firefighters Rescue, Only Jesus Saves.”

It’s a message that’s angering some people, like Juan Wells of Toledo.  His godfather is a retired firefighter.

 "They save lives every day,” says Wells. "I think it's insulting because firefighters do jobs most people wouldn't do. I wouldn't want to run up in a burning house … third floor or second floor … and save someone."

On Facebook, Robert Priebe writes that he is “appalled” considering the church is a half mile away from Fire Station 25.

"I thought it was a real cool sign,” says Janice Carson who is a block watch captain for the Hampton Park neighborhood.

Carson, who is also a minister, says the message is inspirational.  She adds that she prays for firefighters.

"I don't know how we'd get along without them, but they're talking about from the spiritual ... Jesus Christ is the savior of our souls,” says Carson.

Lt. Matt Hertzfeld with the Toledo Fire Department doesn’t have a problem with the sign.

 “Well, that is our job,” says Lt. Hertzfeld.  “Our job is to rescue and attempt to save lives… I think that's a natural draw to try and draw comparisons that people can compare and relate to.”

Reverend Sarah Richey of Hampton Park Christian Church tells 13abc that the message has been up for about a month.  She has received one complaint over the phone.

“It was not our intent to offend,” says Reverend Richey.  “Indeed, we appreciate the hard work of all emergency first responders.”


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