Islamic Center of Murfreesboro members will pass a field lined with 13 white crosses in front of Grace Baptist Church on Bradyville Pike on the way to their new mosque once it opens.
“It was more or less to make a statement to the Muslims about how we felt about our religion, our Christianity,” said Mack Richards, a Middle Tennessee Baptist Church member who built the crosses at the request of Grace Baptist member and friend Bobby Francis. “We wanted them to see the crosses and know how we felt about things.”
“That’s what the church voted to do,” said Francis, who has been a member of Grace Baptist since the 1970s when it was on Dill Lane.
Francis explained three of the crosses, including a taller one, represent the Trinity. He said he sees the crosses as being part of the “Great Commission,” a Christian reference on what Jesus called his followers to do in spreading the news about him to the world.
One of the Muslims’ response:
We love our neighbors, all of them, including the church next door,” said Sbenaty. “As Muslims, we believe in Jesus, as well. Jesus said love thy neighbors. They are our neighbors, and we must love them.