Austin church has great response to ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign thieves

University United Methodist Church ....12/2/98 photo by Rebecca McEntee/AAS

University United Methodist Church  (File photo by Rebecca McEntee/American-Statesman)

A local church near the University of Texas campus is fighting back against crime with a little humor.

The University United Methodist Church’s Facebook page posted a photo on Monday addressing a recent theft from its property. According to the photo’s description, the church placed seven “Black Lives Matter” lawn signs in its front yard following the high-profile shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn. Within two days, all seven had been stolen.

Despite the theft, the church placed five more “Black Lives Matter” signs in its yard and included two “freebies” if would-be thieves needed a yard sign.

The free sign reads “Wanna steal a sign off our church’s front yard? THIS IS A FREE ONE YOU CAN HAVE! Compliments of University UMC.”

This isn’t the first time the church has made its progressive stances known. In 2013, the youth director was temporarily removed from ordination track because she is a lesbian. Senior Pastor Rev. John Elford has called for others to engage with the Muslim community, and the church was one of several in the university area to hang banners discouraging anti-Muslim bigotry. The church’s Facebook page also currently features a cover photo promoting a sermon series titled “Jesus is a feminist.”

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