By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
March 27, 2014
As the Christian Action League had reported earlier, officials in Turkey, one of a handful of dry towns in Sampson County that would be thrown open to alcohol sales if the referendum is approved, passed a resolution in opposition March 18. A few days later, Salemburg followed suit, with Mayor Bobby Strickland rejecting the idea that booze brings in business.
“Somebody has the wrong idea on trying to make revenue,” he told the media.
The economic argument was also addressed at Tuesday’s rally at Clinton Community Church.
“There are always those who are contending for greater accessibility to alcoholic beverages. They always argue that it will produce an economic boon, generate more tax revenue and economic growth, new fine-dining establishments and industry, produce jobs and new opportunities,” the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League told the crowd of about 70.
“But the truth is … greater accessibility always creates greater consumption levels, resulting in greater alcohol related problems.”
Several key members of Sampson Citizens for the Prevention of Countywide Alcohol Sales shared their own views of those problems, including Tommy Howell, minister of music at Wilson First Pentecostal Holiness Church, who twice has been the victim in car accidents involving drunken drivers. Dr. Larry Watts, who co-chairs the committee with the Rev. Tony Moore, told of his experience growing up in an area of the midwest where there was a bar on every corner. He said many of his classmates have passed away as a result of the choices they made after living in such an atmosphere. Further, the Rev. Joseph Tew, committee secretary, said he watched alcohol rob his uncle of health and life.
Both Moore and Dr. Creech urged Christians across the area to engage their congregations in the battle against the referendum. They said volunteers are needed to make phone calls, help register voters and get people to the polls. Funds are needed for advertising against the measure.
Rev. Moore said anyone interested in aligning themselves with the effort can e-mail Sampsoncitizensunited@aol.com, join the group via Facebook or phone him directly at (910) 592-6782.
He said another rally is tentatively set for Thursday, May 1 at Elizabeth Baptist Church between Clinton and Roseboro, where the Rev. John Hobbs is pastor, but added that there is much to be done between now and then to get the word out.