Texas megachurch The Potter's House has responded to atheist bus ads in Fort Worth by putting up a month-long, pro-God message on public transportation vehicles.
Six Fort Worth city buses are carrying the simple message, "He (God) Still Reigns!" The ads – which respond to the atheist bus ads in December that declared people can be "good without God" – will run until the end of January.
"I felt like they (atheists) were perfectly within their rights to express their beliefs or disbeliefs. Our reaction is to take the same constitutional rights and share with people their need for God," explained Derick Faison, campus pastor of The Potter's House of Fort Worth, to The Christian Post on Saturday. "Everyone needs God and we felt it was important to put that message out."
He added, "Even to those who reject Him, He is still God and He still reigns even when we don't want to respect or acknowledge Him. He still loves them and cares about them."
Faison is featured on the bus ads along with Pastor T.D. Jakes. The ads displayed on the T, or the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, invite viewers to "Come experience the love of God at The Potter's House of Fort Worth."
The Potter House bus ads will be the last religious ad campaign to run on buses in Fort Worth.
In mid-December, the T adopted a policy banning all religious advertising on its buses and bus benches after the agency's staff said too much time was spent responding to complaints over the atheist bus ads.
Residents and local pastors thought the ads, sponsored by the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, were an insult to Christianity, especially since the ads ran during the Christmas season. Some ministers even called for a boycott of the T.
The Potter's House of Fort Worth contracted the last religious bus ad right before the ban, according to Faison.
The Fort Worth pastor said he disagreed with the negative reaction and protest to the atheist ads, adding that it would only make it difficult for Christians to use the same vehicles to promote their message.
"We could have used those same vehicles to give people hope, advertise our churches and our ministries. Now we shut that vehicle down," remarked Faison.
"I felt like we stepped on our own foot."
Without the bus ads, Faison said The Potter's House of Fort Worth will use other platforms – billboards, door-to-door evangelism, flyers, door hangers, radio, television and the internet – to get the word out about its church services.
"I think that we need to do a better job of coming up with creative ways of promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ," said Faison. "Rather than shun other people and shut down their message, we just need to be more diligent in promoting the love of God," he said.
The Potter's House at the Fort Worth location celebrated its one year anniversary last month. Around 1,200 people attend Sunday Services at its new property off Interstate 30 and Woodhaven Boulevard.
The main location of the 30,000-member, nondenominational church is in Dallas.