BENTON, Ark. - Schools in the Benton School District will soon become the first in the state to display the country's motto on their walls after a donation from a Sardis church.
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church has pledged to donate "In God We Trust" signs to every school, which the youth pastor said will cost the congregation about $300.
"Our church discussed it very briefly of, 'Absolutely, that's something we want to be a part of,'" said Chris Reed. "Though we may differ on what 'In God We Trust' means specifically, I think we can all agree that there's a greater calling in our life that's greater than us."
A new law requires elementary and secondary schools to display a framed picture or poster of the four words above an American flag in their libraries and classrooms if a private organization or voluntary contributions to the local school board funded them.
Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, said he sponsored the legislation to have our history and heritage displayed throughout Arkansas. After researching similar laws in several other states, he modeled the law after Georgia's.
Only three lawmakers voted against it.
"As a student pastor, I think it's vital that we have that spiritual influence in our schools as much as possible," Reed said.
Reed believes "In God We Trust" isn't tied to one religion but one nation.
"This is who we are, this is who we have been and hopefully, I pray, that's who we continue to be moving forward," he said. "In the name of Jesus that our lives will be directed as we obediently follow Christ."
We reached out to the Benton School District for comment but have yet to hear back.
Reed expects to pass out the posters to the schools within the next several weeks.
His church also plans to donate them to the Bauxite School District.
Act 911 also requires the signs to appear in any public building that's maintained or operated by state funds if a private organization or voluntary contributions to the Building Authority Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration funded them.
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