CARTHAGE, Tenn. (BP)–A Tennessee Baptist association plans to distribute 10,000 book covers with the Ten Commandments to public school students in its county this fall.
At the start of school, students who are members of the 11 churches in the New Salem Baptist Association in Smith County, Tenn., will distribute the book covers by giving them to their friends, said Ricky Scott, pastor of Rome Baptist Church, Lebanon, Tenn. Other book covers may be distributed from churches, he added.
Scott, who presented the idea to the association, reported his research found distribution of the book covers by students is lawful in schools if done at times other than class time. Both students and others can distribute book covers in a religious club held at school, he noted. However, he found the book covers bearing the Ten Commandments could not be distributed by someone other than a student on the campus of a public school.
The association, based in Carthage, Tenn., has bought some book covers from the Family Research Council of Washington D.C. for 18 cents each. Scott also found book covers bearing the Ten Commandments available from Love Worth Finding, a ministry of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn., in suburban Memphis.
To fund the project, the association gave $400, an individual gave $400 and the churches are giving $120 each. The association also may buy adhesive versions of the Ten Commandments for young children who don’t have books, but have folders and notebooks, Scott said.
Scott said he felt led by God to initiate the project after the school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., last year, in which two student gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives.
Scott can be contacted at [email protected] or (615) 444-0801.