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Church pastor: Scumbags welcome!


By Heather Sorentrue, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, March 03, 2011 11:29 PM
The pastor of a Lake County church thinks his controversial billboard that reads 'Scumbags Welcome!' will help bring people closer to God.

Pastor Moses Robbins of the Saturday Night Live (SNL) Church put the billboard up along Highway 441 between Tavares and Leesburg.

In less than a week, the sign started to draw lots of criticism.

A phone number for the church is posted on the billboard. Robbins said the phone has been ringing off the hook. He said there is nothing vulgar about the sign and he doesn't care if it offends people.  However, he said that wasn't his goal. Robbins said you have to read the Bible verse Mark 2:13-17 to understand what inspired the billboard. He said the billboard is based on Jesus Christ's work to engage sinners and put them on the right path. The pastor said the problem is a lot of people are not going to church to hear the message of God. He said the idea behind the billboard was to create a short and blunt statement that would create some "wonder" and lead more people to church. Robbins said he is planning to post another controversial message about sex within the next few months. He said he has no plans to take the billboard down.

The SNL church formed in April 2010 and has less than 50 members. They meet in a building owned by the First United Methodist Church in Tavares, which is located at 600 West Ianthe Street