‘School Prayer Zone’ road signs pop up around South Carolina county

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Some signs are popping up along the highways in Richland County school zones.

They're not reminding people to slow down, they're reminding people to say a prayer.

Whether you're driving by or sitting in the carpool line this school year, drivers could be in a newly designated "school prayer zone."

These signs are popping up around Richland County thanks to local non-profit Christ Teens.

So far, three signs have found new homes outside of schools in northeast Richland County.

"We want this next generation coming out of our public schools every 365 days to be productive citizens with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, skills and abilities and, you know, everything you would want from a graduation class," Vanessa Frazier of Christ Teens said.

To achieve that goal, Frazier says prayer over students, teachers and administrators needs to become more regular.

So, over the last three and a half years, Frazier designed the signs and, with the DOT's approval, sells them to local churches to place on their property.

"This is a perfect example of church and state, whereas we're staying out of the area of the state, but we're bringing it onto the land of the church," Frazier said.

Jane Jorgenson's husband is the pastor at St. Marks Lutheran Church in Blythewood and was approached by Frazier about installing a school prayer zone sign.

"Literally on the spot I said, 'We're interested,'" Jorgenson said. "There's no doubt. We want to do this."

The sign outside the church, installed last week, is a stone's throw from Blythewood High School.

"We want a nurturing environment for these kids and I don't think there's a greater power that could lift them up than the power of prayer," Jorgenson said.

For those skeptical of the idea, she asks what there is to lose.

"It's not going to hurt anything to say a prayer," she said. "I just think once you experience the power of prayer in your own life, you'll be sold for a lifetime."

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