Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prepare to meet God?


For a host of reasons, I honestly do love my hometown of Benton, Ark.

This city has its share of quirks, to be sure, and one of my favorite ones is a sign near Interstate 30 that warns passersby to prepare to meet God. The sign is two-sided, so it's easily visible from both the eastbound and westbound lanes on I-30, as well as the westbound lane on the access road next to the interstate.

I can't help but think the sign has scared the hell out of more than one driver flying down the highway as it reminds me of one of those warning signs that pop up on mountainous roads. You know the kind:

Eight people killed last year
by driving off the mountain.
Don't you be next!

A sign very much like that one that graced U.S. 71 between Alma and Fayetteville, Ark., for years. It might still be up there, in fact.

At any rate, the "prepare to meet God" sign has been there for at least 30 years. It was put up by Sharon Missionary Baptist Church here in town as part of that group's ongoing mission of saving lost souls. You'll notice that the church no longer advertises on the sign, thus converting it from an attention-getting recruitment tool into something that's just plain creepy.

I really need to take some more photos of things here in my town.

10 comments:

Henson Ray said...

Yup, that is a little creepy. And it's more of a warning than a greeting. Almost as if it's saying "Prepare to go to Hell." Scary! I'd be interested in seeing other pictures from such a "colorful" place.

Adam Pieniazek said...

A little creepy (are they saying you're about to crash because this section of highway is haunted?!?!?!) and it seems a bit dangerous as I'd expect a few drivers to do a double take when seeing the sign.

Good marketing is controversial though, and hey check us out giving them more free advertising!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Henson:

Have no fear! Thanks to that wonderful, new digital camera invention that all the kids are just wild about, I can take all kinds of photos from my beloved hometown.

Yes, they'll be a hit...

The Natural State Hawg said...

Adam:

We're giving them free advertising, indeed, but who is getting the advertising? You have to be a long-time local to know that Sharon Missionary Baptist put that up there originally, but that sponsorship is no longer clear.

I really do wonder why that sign is still up there...

Majik said...

That is a bit creepy. I've seen a few creepy signs before but I don't think I've ever seen a sign that warns you to meet your maker. I don't think I'll be driving near that highway. One would think the drivers are nuts! But I would be interested in seeing some more pictures from around there. Can't let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Well, I will have some more photos from around here. We do have some dandy scenery in this town, so I'll make sure to keep my eye out for some of that stuff (I do live near the Saline River, after all, and it's darned scenic).

Thanks for the comment!

Alcamadus said...

Wow. That's one of the better signs I have seen in awhile. It's one of those things on the road that probably would cause an accident more than deter from one...

The Natural State Hawg said...

A lot of people used to get killed on that service road. Wonder is the sign had anything to do with it...

lala said...

And that highway between Alma and Fayetteville was/is dangerous. Beautiful drive, but all those runaway truck ramps and the fog that so often rolls in is scary!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Lala:

I know exactly what you mean -- I graduated from law school at the UA in 1994 and had to take that road between Alma and Fayetteville regularly as I-540 wasn't built.

Went home to Benton for Christmas during my first year of law school with a balding tire, rain, fog and an insane wolf-mix dog trying to crawl in my lap throughout the trip.

I was lucky I wasn't one of the folks who drove off the mountain!