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God inspires message for graffiti artists

Posted December 10, 2008

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— A church south of Fayetteville has taken a stand against graffiti artists after somebody spray-painted a promotional sign for a live nativity scene.

"It made you feel really bad that they would do a church sign without even looking at what it said," said Howard Faircloth, a member of Live Oak United Methodist Church.

Faircloth said the painted sign is the latest example of gang graffiti moving into rural Cumberland County. Vandals often tag stop signs and signs along N.C. Highway 53, he said.

"You'll find that it's in the country also. It just takes a little longer to get here," he said.

Faircloth said he decided to post an extra sign outside the church just for the graffiti artists. The sign says, "Attention gangs: Please use this part for graffiti, and let me use the bottom. We'll discuss it later. – God."

"(I thought) 'What would God say?' He would say, 'Look, just give me my room, and we'll discuss this later.' Somewhere down the line, they're going to have to discuss that with God," he said.

He said he hopes the vandals get more than a quick chuckle from the sign.

"I would love to see in our church some of these people next Sunday," he said. "It would be great if we could – or even one."

In the couple of weeks since Faircloth put up the sign, nobody has messed with it.

"If they would spray over the top part and leave the bottom part alone, that would be fine with me. I'm not here to condemn these guys or girls, whoever did it," he said.

The live nativity scene at Live Oak United Methodist will be held Friday and Saturday night. The church has encouraged everybody, including graffiti artists, to attend.

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