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Pair holds up signs at church group assembly on Public Square


A pair of protesters held signs Friday afternoon in Public Square as a silent opposition to a weekly church group’s assembly there.

The protest was in opposition to the organizing of members of the Watertown Baptist Temple, 26200 Route 3. Church members hold signs and call out loudly to passersby about their faith. They have assembled weekly on the square for about two years, said Kirk C. Delaney, pastor of Bible Baptist Church of Gouverneur, who also took part in the assembly Friday.

Raechelle E. Davis, Watertown, said she felt the need to protest after previously being told by church members she was going to hell.

She held up a sign that read “Eat Healthy and Worship Satan.” Her partner for the protest, Russell G. Henry, also from Watertown, held up a sign reading, “No Gods, No Masters.”

Ms. Davis clarified that she did not hold any strong religious beliefs and that the signs were presented as a contrary view to the group.

For future protests, she said, she would consider signs with phrases such as “The rent is too high,” referencing the popular slogan of New York City political candidate Jimmy McMillan.

“It’s just to kind of get people out here and say what they want,” Ms. Davis said. She said she previously had been a part of Occupy protests in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The church’s message in recent months has faced opposition from nearby businesses such as Computer Pros, which has hung signs from its windows opposing the group.

The assembly and loud calls also have drawn derision from passing drivers. During the assembly Friday, a truck with the markings of the city Water Department circled the square area, honking as it passed the church group.

Mr. Delaney said he did not notice the two protesters of him and his church group.

“That didn’t bother me,” he said. “They got the right to do what they want.”

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