Churches sign petition to keep county dry - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Churches sign petition to keep county dry

August 8, 2004

Tift County- Northside Baptist Church Pastor Fred Evers is passionate when it comes to his sermons, but he's also passionate about keeping Tift County dry.

"I think anything that can suppress the use of alcohol should be done," he says.

Evers says he doesn't mind letting the voters decide, but they've already spoken.

"The fact is is we have voted on it twice as a community, and I don't see a reason to divide the community again for a third time."

That's why he along with 26 other pastors circulated a petition aimed at preventing another referendum. They say it's about protecting morality, not trying to close the tap on the flow of new businesses.

"We want our businesses to grow, but my goodness, you can look around town we've had all kinds of growth without liquor by the drink."

Pastor Dan Eidson says he knows all too well the cost of alcoholic addictions, and he fears it's a price the entire county will have to pay if mixed drinks are allowed.

"I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father. I understand abuse. I know what alcohol does. I know what it doesn't do, and it doesn't help people," Eidson admits. "Where there's a free flow of alcohol, there's family problems and the family suffers more than anybody else, and that means more tax dollars spent for programs to help people, that means lost days on the job, that means cost from accidents."

Both pastors hope the petition will make city and county leaders listen not just to those who stand to make money from mixed drinks, but also from those who believe the community will suffer if liquor is sold.

The churches are also planning to form a prayer line around the County Administration building Monday night during the meeting a 6 o'clock.

Posted at 5:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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