Religious billboard sparks local controversy

Published: Dec. 30, 2015 at 1:44 PM EST
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A store billboard in Wise County, Virginia is turning heads.

The owner of "Tops and Bottoms" clothing store in Wise put up a billboard Tuesday which reads:

Bobby Phipps has owned the store for 35 years. He said he dedicated his life and business to sharing the news of Jesus Christ.

Phipps said the billboard simply states "the truth."

"Mohammed, Buddha ... these were men. They died and were buried. Jesus died and three days later he arose," Phipps said.

This is not the first sign put up by "Tops and Bottoms."

Phipps said his goal is to help people "escape Hell and be saved."

"The greatest tragedy on Earth is to live your life and not go to Heaven," he said. "The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ."

However, not everyone supports the billboard. Jacob Besseck, who lives in the area, said he is "disappointed."

"I think it's a smack in the face to people of other cultures," Besseck said. "I think we need to embrace tolerance and loving one another and not spreading all this hate."

Phipps told WYMT people travel to his store because of the signs. He said customers oftentimes thank him for the messages.

What do you think?