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First Baptist Dallas
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Billboard firm removes 'divisive' megachurch advert

The advertisement in northern Dallas proclaimed that "America is a Christian country" as it promoted a service at First Baptist Dallas celebrating Christian heritage.

Senior pastor Robert Jeffress defended the poster and he told Fox News his sermon was "simply my recounting the historical evidence for the Christian foundation of our country."

He also criticised pressure from the media and the city's major Mike Rawlings for prompting Outfront Media to remove the advert.

But, Jeffress added: "I want to make it clear: we respect the right of the billboard company not to propagate a message they aren't comfortable with".

Speaking with the Dallas Morning News, Rawlings said of the poster: "That is not the Christ I follow. It's not the Dallas I want to be - to say things that do not unite us but divide us.

"I never heard those words, that voice come out of Christ. Just the opposite. I was brought up to believe: Be proud of yours, but do not diminish mine."

A spokeswoman for Outfront Media told the Dallas Morning News several complaints about the "divisive" billboard prompted the firm to withdraw the image.

A First Baptist Dallas representative told the news provider that the church has been offered a refund for the cost of purchasing the billboard.

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