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One Ohio Pastor, Story of Ten Commandments of the Bible, 113,000 yard signs and a lawsuit
By Clem Boyd
What was the Rev. Ken Johnson thinking? As leader of the Adams County, Ohio, Ministerial Association, did he really expect the American Civil Liberties Union to allow the local school board to post the Ten Commandments at four new public schools in 1997?
"I just didn't think anybody in the county would be against them," Johnson said. "Christians, Muslims and Jews all respect the Bible Ten Commandments; I didn't think we'd have any problems."
Berry Baker, a 55-year-old communications equipment installer from Peebles, Ohio, saw the Ten Commandments of the Bible and complained to the school board in 1998. The ACLU filed suit in February 1999.
That was just the beginning for Johnson. The ministerial association decided to hold a public meeting to discuss the lawsuit-and 600 residents showed up.
"We saw there was a lot more support (to fight this) than just among the ministers," Johnson said. "That's the reason we formed Adams County for the Ten Commandments (ACTC)."
Johnson founded ACTC with fellow ministers Tom Claibourne, Ron Stephens and Doug Ferguson. They created a yard sign which reads "We Stand for the Ten Commandments" to raise money for the school board's legal defense. It wasn't long before the idea caught on nationwide. As of Oct. 3, 2000, ACTC had shipped 113,000 signs to 47 states and Puerto Rico.
Ten Commandments StoryJohnson, who also opposed a casino-gambling initiative in Ohio and serves as president of Citizens for Community Values of Adams County, said he sees many positive results from ACTC's efforts.
"When 1,600 people show up for a school board meeting over a cause, that's pulling the community together," he said. "Plus, most of my interviews are with the secular press, so a lot of people are learning about the Ten Commandments."
As a co-defendant with the other ministers in the suit, Johnson said this effort is about taking a stand.
"I'm in Adams County, and we fight for what we believe," he said. "When we first heard about the lawsuit, I thought, 'Oh, no!', but then I began to see that bad can be turned for good. If this suit was never filed, we wouldn't be sending Ten Commandment signs all over the nation. What a profound story."
Adams County for the Ten Commandments
Requirements to obey the Bible Ten Commandments
The purpose of this ministry is to share the good news of Christ. Do you know for sure that you are going to heaven? For a summary of the Biblical perspective of where your soul is going, read more. The Plan of Salvation
tencommandments.comRevelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Read more at tencommandments.com
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Roger Sherman was the only person to sign all four of America's founding documents: the Articles of Association-1774, Declaration of Independence-1776, Articles of Confederation-1777, and U.S. Constitution-1787.
At age 19, Roger Sherman's father died and he supported his family as a shoe cobbler. He helped two younger brothers attend college and become clergymen. Roger Sherman was a surveyor and merchant, but when a neighbor needed legal advice, he studied to help, only to be inspired to be a lawyer.
Roger Sherman was elected a state senator, a judge and a delegate to the Continental Congress. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence and gave instructions to an embassy to Canada:
"That all civil rights and the right to hold office were to be extended to persons of any Christian denomination."
Roger Sherman made 138 speeches at the Constitutional Convention, and in the first session of Congress, thought a First Amendment unnecessary, as religion was under each States' jurisdiction.
Elected a U.S. Senator at age 70, Roger Sherman died JULY 23, 1793. Inscribed on his tomb is:
"He ever adorned the profession of Christianity which he made in youth and...died in the prospect of a blessed immortality."