Church Leaders Want to Ban Beer and Wine Sales - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

12/12/06 - Huntington

Church Leaders Want to Ban Beer and Wine Sales

by Ramonica R. Jones

Just over a month ago, Angelina County voters agreed to expand alcohol sales. But now, several towns in the county are fighting to keep their communities dry.

Huntington will start circulating a petition Wednesday to keep retail beer and wine sales out. During the November 7th election, more than half of Huntington residents voted against retail alcohol sales.

Pastor Darryl Smith of Huntington First Baptist Church, said, "We feel like it is a moral issue, and we originally opposed Proposition 1 and 2 in Angelina County, and are seeking now to do what we can to keep Huntington dry, because we don't believe that alcohol enhances our community."

Pastor Smith and other alcohol opponents know people who want to drink will get their alcohol, whether or not it is sold inside the city limits, but banning beer and wine sales means it won't be as accessible.

"Legally, we're bound not to support candidates, but we feel like the church must be a moral voice in our community, and we feel like this is a moral issue, and some moral issues are political, and we're not afraid to be involved in those kinds of issues."

To get a wet/dry election next spring, the city of Huntington needs to collect 168 valid signatures over the next two months.

Monday night, Zavalla city council members approved the first reading of a distance ordinance to keep beer and wine outlets at least 300 feet away from schools, hospitals, and churches. But some members of that community are also fighting retail alcohol sales.

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