Is Church Influence Fading?

There is a church on just about every street corner in Lufkin, and according to a report released by the religious association of data, there are over 50,000 Christians in Angelina County. Religious leaders feel with the high number of Christians, there should be a heavy Christian influence in the community.

"As a Christian, we are supposed to go and be a light unto the world, a city on the hill that can not be hidden. So, it is our responsibility to go out and make a difference, to make the community a better place," says Pastor Luis Salazar.

After voters made Angelina County wet, Redland Baptist Church Pastor Ty Phillips is questioning the influence of East Texas churches. "When I read the results, I was sick to my stomach. When I read how many people voted for it and against, I was mad. I thought that the church had failed miserably," says Pastor Phillips.

Phillips believes there is only one way to explain the failure.  "I think the church has gotten lazy. I think more people are concerned about their pocketbooks than righteousness," says Phillips.

Beer and wine sales will start in Angelina County shortly, but religious leaders hope Christians will have a greater influence. "If we want to see our world change, we are gonna have to start standing up for what we say we believe," says Phillips.

"Because it's passed doesn't mean it's the end of the world. It's just another battle, something we are going to have to tackle, and I believe God is going to equip us," says Salazar.