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Any church can post the Ten Commandments, evidenced by their 10-foot-tall monument

FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP)–There’s a way to post the Ten Commandments even if local officials are intimidated by the threat of an ACLU lawsuit against their display in the schools or at the courthouse.

Crestwood Baptist Church, Frankfort, Ky., has posted the Ten Commandments in front of the church.

The church stands on the same street as the state capitol — where a seven-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument was to have been placed, by a vote of the state legislature, until a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union prompted a federal judge to intervene in July.

Crestwood’s Ten Commandments monument:

— is 10 and a half feet tall and 12 feet long.

— consists of a four-foot-tall base, a one-foot-tall granite stone engraved with “Ten Commandments” on both sides and two five-and-a-half-foot-tall stones engraved with the commandments on both sides.

— is located in front of the church on a busy street, East Main, three miles east of the state capitol — and adjacent to the county board of education offices and Elkhorn Elementary School and less than a fourth of a mile from Franklin County High School and Elkhorn Middle School.

“Especially if they’re on a main thoroughfare, it’s ideal,” Crestwood member John Shoemaker said as a word of encouragement to other churches that might consider posting the Ten Commandments on their property.

Thousands of adults and children will see Crestwood’s Ten Commandments monument daily, he said, noting, “We think they’re going to read and internalize it.”

The $13,000 cost of the monument was raised by the dozen members of Crestwood’s Foundation men’s Sunday school class apart from the church budget.

The monument isn’t Crestwood’s first Ten Commandments initiative. Shoemaker and other members of the Foundation class began giving personalized copies of the Ten Commandments to all the children in the church in 1995 — a project that expanded to offering free personalized copies of the Ten Commandments over the Internet at www.crestwoodbaptist.com/commandments.html.

“We’ve lost track” of how many copies of the Ten Commandments have been mailed out, Shoemaker said, recalling that copies have been sent to Switzerland and Uganda.

Visitors to the website also can download a copy of the Ten Commandments to print via their home computers.

“We’ve got a passion for it,” a passion for the Ten Commandments to touch people’s lives, Shoemaker said of efforts by the Crestwood men’s class and various others in the congregation.

The idea of placing the Ten Commandments in front of Crestwood, which draws 375 people to its two Sunday morning services, predated the controversy pitting lawmakers against the ACLU over returning a monument already owned by the state to the statehouse grounds, said Shoemaker, a veteran of 30 years in education who served as state textbook director for the Kentucky department of education, as a high school principal and as a sales rep for a school textbook publisher.

A visit to the www.crestwoodbaptist.com Internet site quickly evidences the church’s affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. In its “Who We Are” section, the church notes that it embraces the SBC’s Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs and that it is involved in the FAITH Sunday school evangelism strategy.

Also on the website is a section on “How To Know God” tapping into spiritual helps available on the Internet from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and a section by which a person can submit prayer requests or search for a particular Scripture verse.
A (BP) photo, titled “TEN COMMANDMENTS,” has been posted in the BP Photo Library, courtesy of the Frankfort State-Journal. An additional photo is also posted in the BP Photo library. Photo title: CHURCH POSTS COMMANDMENTS.