By Beth Thomas
In these uncertain times, we all need something or someone to believe in. One church in South Montgomery County has begun a campaign, which is gaining unexpected momentum with a simple, yet moving message of hope.
If you’ve been able to get out and about these last few weeks, you might have noticed all of the campaigning signs and posters that have been popping up all over the place. Billboards, ads on the radio, and signs placed in yards or at stop signs are all encouraging people to vote for this or that candidate in the upcoming elections.
However, if you’ve taken the time to stop and look at them, you might have noticed that some aren’t advocating any particular political party or candidate.
“Jesus 2020,” the signs say. “What is that about?” you might have wondered. “Where did these signs come from?”
These signs are the work of a few dedicated to spreading the love of Jesus Christ. I had the privilege of talking with two of the leaders, Joyce Hubbard and Martha Sikes, about where this movement came from and what their goals were.
The Jesus 2020 campaign began in May of 2020, soon after the church of Sampey Memorial Baptist Church in Ramer, Ala. reopened its doors after the initial COVID-19 closure. In a discussion during one of their Sunday School meetings, the members decided that they wanted a sign to show that they still believed in God, despite all the negativity in the world right now.
Joyce Hubbard, long-time member of Sampey said that Christians have been silent for too long. “We need to be heard!” She suggested that they hold a campaign for Jesus to put in with all of the other signs so that those who are faltering during this time can renew their faith and those who don’t know Jesus can have hope and be led to the Lord.
“We wanted to take a stand and revive hearts that have felt despair and hopelessness. We need Jesus! We decided that we would start a campaign for Jesus.”
Martha Sikes recalled that she wanted to start this because, “We’ve got to speak up against the negative that’s going on in this country. There is a bunch of evil in our country. We can’t let it continue and do nothing.”
In the three weeks since its beginning, the group has been able to send out 1,500 signs from its humble beginnings in the Sampey Memorial Baptist Church. They just can’t seem to get enough prepared before all the signs are gone and they have to order new ones (the opposite of a problem, of course). People from all over who don’t go to their church or perhaps haven’t been going to church at all because of COVID-19 have been calling and asking how they can get signs to give to friends and family.
Needless to say, what began as a small idea to encourage people has grown into its own campaign. When asked if it has gone above and beyond what they expected, Mrs. Sikes said, “We hoped it would move. We expected great things. Watching it spread ... it’s just amazing to watch it take spark and move on throughout our neighborhood and beyond.”
Mrs. Hubbard agreed. “It’s gone much farther than we thought. People are calling about signs all the time. So many people are excited to get the signs.”
The goal now is to simply get their message out and around the area. “Our goal is to get other churches involved in the experience, so they can order signs to see everywhere, and people can see that people believe in Jesus,” said Mrs. Hubbard.
Mrs. Sikes had similar hopes. “We just want other churches to experience this. We started the spark, but we don’t want to just be the leaders. They’ve got to find out about this first...I think it just gives people hope. We know we love Jesus, but now we’re putting seed to it. It’s a witness to other people when they see it in their yard.” What a great way to unite Christians in these uncertain times! Anyone can have a sign and provide hope to themselves and others, no matter what!
“What’s great about this is it’s a church ministry, but you don’t have to gather. You can just put it out in the yard and be encouraged as you’re going to work or coming home. People can sit in their windows and see them in the yard, and it gives them hope,” Mrs. Hubbard said.
Anyone who wants a sign can go to their Facebook page (Jesus 2020) to request them. If you happen to see a sign while you’re out and about, there is a QR code that can be scanned with your camera app that will take you to the page so you can order some. If you would like to cut out the middleman, you are welcome to order directly from the printers. There is a flyer (see pictures below) on the Jesus 2020 Facebook page that will show you how to contact Wells Printing to order your own batch of signs.
If you’d like to simply order additional signs with the group when it places another order, they are more than willing to help with that. You can contact them through Facebook Messenger, or you can call Joyce Hubbard directly, and she will help you get your orders in.
If you wish to make a donation, you are welcome to, though they are not required: Sampey Memorial Baptist Church, P.O. Box 127, Ramer, AL 36069.
Joyce Hubbard (334) 312-3529