— -- A Pennsylvania church is marking its first anniversary with a controversial billboard that proclaims God loves sex.
The billboard was placed along a major highway running through Wilkes Barre, Pa., by Restored Church, a non-denominational worship center opened in September of last year by two friends who met as college roommates.
The billboard, according to one of the church’s founders, is meant to draw attention to the church’s new sermon series launching next month that will focus on sex and the Song of Solomon from the Bible.
“If the culture can be so bold, I think the church can be so bold and speak directly on the subject and be up front about it,” Restoration Pastor Dan Nichols told ABC affiliate WNEP.
The billboard was first highlighted by a tweet from the church’s account on Aug. 27. It is scheduled to remain up for the next four weeks, according to WNEP.
Restored Church currently has a congregation of around 100 people, Nichols told WNEP. The church’s mission, according to its website, is to “…Communicate the good news of Jesus with our lives in order to reach the lost and aggressively develop committed followers of Jesus.”
The church’s bold display of its message led one pastor from another church to write a letter to the editor in a local newspaper criticizing the billboard for being misleading, according to WNEP.
Tim Walker, Nichols’ college roommate and fellow pastor at the church, told WNEP the criticism is not dissuading them from talking about sex and marriage.
“We really put a lot of thought into this,” Walker said.
Calls placed to the church for comment were not returned as of this writing.