Lindale, TX (FOX51) — Wednesday night was a historic night for the city of Lindale as nearly 3,000 people turned out for the performance of "In God We Trust," by 5th graders from E.J. Moss.
The entire Performing Arts Center and multiple overflow areas with live feeds were filled to capacity with standing room only.
In addition, dozens of people sat outside the center and listened to a live feed audio broadcast.
Pastor Tom Buck says, "People literally came from all over East Texas to show their support for the children." "Some of those in attendance were U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert, Jason Wright from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's office, Texas House Representatives Dan Flynn and Bryan Hughes, Mayor Robert Nelson and the Lindale City Council and Judge James Cowart. In addition, the authors of the musical, Chris and Diane Machen, drove from Frisco to attend the performance."
The children did not let the massive crowd down and gave a performance that brought the audience to their feet on multiple occasions.
Pastor Buck goes on to say the last minute attempts of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to rattle their political sabers failed.
The FFRF stated in a press release, "The church is capitalizing on the controversy. More than 750 t-shirts with “In God We Trust” on the front and “We support LISD” on the back were pre-ordered. Terry Cox, whose company printed the shirts, is confident in his ability to sell all shirts since Buck expects some 2,000 people to show up. The church will likely be taking charitable donations at the event."
Pastor Buck responded to the FFRF saying, "In response to the their false reports they have posted on their website, our church did not profit from the event, had nothing to do with the t-shirts and solicited no charitable donations. It is sad that the FFRF has to stoop to lying in order to gain support for their unconstitutional attempt to stomp out religious freedom in this nation."
Buck states if the FFRF has any integrity, they will modify their report and a issue a statement of apology.
Buck goes on to praise the efforts of collective churches and the entire community that made the play such a spectacular event.
He also thanks Sheriff Smith, Constable Bibby and other law enforcement for providing outstanding security.