‘Honk if you love Jesus: Text while driving if you want to meet him’: Reverend known for displaying eye-catching slogans outside his church is facing legal action because the council insists its advertising 

A reverend known for displaying eye-catching slogans outside his church is facing legal action because the council has classed it as advertising. 

Reverend Bob Marshall has been erecting signs outside the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckey, North Wales which he hopes inspires churchgoers.  

The Reverend recently caused a stir after he used the phrase’forgiveness is swallowing when you want to spit’ on an A-board outside the church.

But he didn’t realise the risque connotations of the term and removed the slogan when he found out.

Reverend Bob Marshall has been erecting signs outside the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckey, North Wales which he hopes inspires churchgoers

Reverend Bob Marshall has been erecting signs outside the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckey, North Wales which he hopes inspires churchgoers

Another saying which sparked a few laughs, but also had an important message, said: 'Honk if you love Jesus: Text while driveing (sic) if you want to meet him.'

Another saying which sparked a few laughs, but also had an important message, said: ‘Honk if you love Jesus: Text while driveing (sic) if you want to meet him.’

He has been told by Flintshire council's chief of planning, Andrew Farrow, he has to apply for advertisement consent for the sign, or the local authority could take action

He has been told by Flintshire council’s chief of planning, Andrew Farrow, he has to apply for advertisement consent for the sign, or the local authority could take action

He later joked: ‘The Lord helped me take it down because the wind blew it over.’

Another saying which sparked a few laughs, but also had an important message, said: ‘Honk if you love Jesus: Text while driveing (sic) if you want to meet him.’

But now he has been told by Flintshire council’s chief of planning, Andrew Farrow, he has to apply for advertisement consent for the sign, or the local authority could take action.

Originally from Indiana in the United States, the 71 year-old pastor says he rotates the messages on the board every couple of weeks to make people think and smile, and has been doing it for the past few years.

Currently it says ‘Too many people have a strong will and a weak will not’.

Rev Marshall insists the slogans are not a business and the sayings are not adverts.

A letter from Mr Farrow to Rev Marshall, dated November 14, said: ‘I can confirm that advertisement consent would be required and having checked the planning records it would appear no consent has been sought or granted.

‘In the circumstances, you will need to apply for advertisement consent.’

The Reverend recently caused a stir after he used the phrase'forgiveness is swallowing when you want to spit' on an A-board outside the church

The Reverend recently caused a stir after he used the phrase’forgiveness is swallowing when you want to spit’ on an A-board outside the church

Mr Farrow ordered the sign to be removed withing seven days of receipt of the letter.

He added the reverend could face enforcement action if he fails to comply.

Rev Marshall said: ‘They are saying we have to have permission for an advertisement.

‘We are a church, not a business, and these are not adverts and it is on our property.

‘They are sayings to make people smile and think which I change just about every week. It’s a community sign.

‘I’ve had scores of people come up to me say thanks. I don’t understand why the council has asked me to do this now, I have been doing it for a few years.

‘It just seems a bit petty and its like as though they are trying to show whose in charge.’

Reverend Bob Marshall (pictured), 58, has now apologised to parishioners and said it never occurred to him that the words had another meaning

Reverend Bob Marshall (pictured), 58, has now apologised to parishioners and said it never occurred to him that the words had another meaning

The sign was put up outside the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckey, North Wales (pictured)

The sign was put up outside the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in Buckey, North Wales (pictured)

Rev Marshall, who has lived in Buckley for 30 years, said he may have to comply if the council wont change its mind.

The Reverend and his wife Janice are members of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, based in Missouri.

The organisation has around 5,000 ministries in approximately 110 countries.

Since taking over the dilapidated chapel, the organisation has spent more than £10,000 restoring and renovating it, with the help of volunteers within the congregation.

Flintshire council has been asked to comment.