WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- Several groups from Winston-Salem and Raleigh plan to protest the Child Evangelism Fellowship's Children's Good News Spectacular at the L.J.V.M. Coliseum on Saturday.
The protesters, which include The Forsyth Area Critical Thinkers, The Americans United for Separation of Church and State, The Triangle Free Thought Society and The Unitarian Universalist Church, say they are worried C.E.F. will try to organize more of its radical Bible clubs in area public schools.
"This group comes in and acts like a traditional Christian, accepting everyone type organization, when what they really want to do is evangelize small children to then go out into the student body, our student body, and evangelize the rest of the children," said Jim Moury with the Forsyth Area Critical Thinkers.
Bob Fowler, C.E.F. of Greater Raleigh, is organizing the Children's Good News Spectacular on Saturday and says he's shocked people want to protest.
"We are a group of people from different Bible believing churches, that believe in sharing the good news of Jesus with children. Sometimes people take the word evangel as if we coerce or make, but evangel the name means a proclaimer," says Fowler.
C.E.F has its Good News Bible Clubs in public schools nationwide, because a 2001 Supreme Court ruling said the group has the right to use public schools, after hours, just like any other civic organization.
Nationally, C.E.F. has faced criticism by some who say the messages they share with children are dark, frightening and coercive.
C.E.F says it's messages are positive and it doesn't use the one day spectaculars to push its message into public schools.
"We have bible stories, songs, memory verses, activities for the children. We share the good news of the Bible," says Fowler.
Moury says he has more than 30 signed-up to protest Saturday's event.
Fowler claims C.E.F already has Good News Clubs using space after school in at least 2 Forsyth County Schools.
For more information on the C.E.F Children's Good News Spectacular check out http://www.cefgra.org/Spectacular.htm