Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 6, 2013

Reason for the Season

Couple puts message in holiday display

Tony Huffman
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — Robert Hayes believes the holiday season should focus on Jesus Christ. To illustrate that point, he and his wife, Lisa, built a large Bible that stands in their front yard.

The couple reside along Illinois 33 coming into Effingham. Robert hopes the sign’s message along the high-traffic location will inspire others to “recognize Jesus is the reason for the season.”

“This is a busy road, and I saw putting up the sign as an opportunity to share my belief in Jesus Christ,” he said.

The couple originally put the sign up years ago, but have not been able to in the past six to eight years until Robert’s recent retirement. He was able to use his free time to re-erect the sign.

The idea originated from a magazine the Hayes’ read followed by a trip to the lumber store.

“It took a week to build, but it was worth it,” said Hayes.

After the couple moved to the area from Maryland to work on boilers for local Ameren plants, Hayes says that one of the features of Effingham he enjoys is the religious following.

“A lot of places I’ve traveled don’t have a strong belief in religion,” said Hayes. “That isn’t a problem in Effingham.”

The Bible verse on the sign is from Luke 2:11, which urges people to give praise to God. The sign will remain in their yard until the first of the year. A light also makes it visible at night.

“People slow down to read the sign,” said Hayes. “I hope it gets as much attention as possible.”

Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or tony.huffman@effinghamdailynews.com.