Praise Report: Gym Owner’s Ad Containing Cross Returned to High School Football Field
Army vet Billy Weatherall knows something about fighting in battle. So when a local school decided to remove his gym’s logo from their football field because it contained a cross, Weatherall knew it was a battle he had to fight. Although Weatherall was prepared for a drawn-out legal case, it didn’t take long. Weatherall gives all the praise to God.
Christ Fit Gym
Weatherall’s business, Christ Fit Gym, in Bossier City, Louisiana, started in his garage in 2009. After a few years, Weatherall was able to open a $1 million facility. But it’s not an ordinary gym. Christ Fit Gym is free of charge and only accepts donations to keep the doors open. The gym has Bible studies and devotions before every class. And it sports a cross and a Bible verse on its logo.
For years, Weatherall has been advertising his gym on school football fields, on banners and in school programs. He’s never had a problem until now.
Last week, Weatherall signed a contract to buy space in the end zone of Benton High School’s football field. But on Friday, the day of the homecoming game, Weatherall got a call from the school telling him that the logo would be removed because of complaints. He was asked to take his money back and go away quietly.
‘Our Parents Can’t Handle It’
“They just said, ‘Billy, please, just take the money. Don’t make a big stink about this. Our parents can’t handle it, we can’t afford this fight, please just take it back and let’s not make a big deal,'” said Weatherall in an interview to The Stream. “I just could not do that. In every sense it’s wrong. If I allow that to happen, why am I doing ministry work? I’ll give up the keys to Christ Fit Gym to somebody else and let somebody else run it. Maybe I’ve just been blind to everything, but I’ve really realized in the last week just how much and how corrupted the system is.”
He pointed out how supportive the community has been through the ordeal. “Ninety-nine percent of the community is for this,” he explained. On a Facebook post, Weatherall talked about his parish. “Everyone has bent over backwards — they always have for Christ Fit Gym. From the day that I opened up the doors at this gym, this community has supported, it has prayed and guys, without a doubt, I live in one of the best communities in the United States.”
The Enemy is Satan
He’s made it clear that the people who were going to erase the ad were not the enemy. In a Facebook post that he asked people to share, Weatherall wrote, “The enemy IS NOT the booster club, faculty or administration. THE ENEMY IS SATAN!!!”
Christian rights are being stripped away locally and nationwide, Weatherall pointed out. “My stance was, this is it. This was all we really had left in the schools. A logo of a cross on a field.” He spoke to his staff. “I said, ‘Guys, if I allow them to take that, we have nothing. That’s it.’ I just kind of led the charge and I said, ‘enough is enough.'”
A Unanimous Vote
Although he had planned to bring a lawsuit on advice from his attorneys, it was never filed. The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to repaint the logo on the field. “It’s already over, can you believe how fast that was? I mean, I was prepared to fight this thing for 2 to 3 years and it was over in four days.” A Facebook post reads: “The vote was unanimous, the logo is going back on the field. A huge thank you to this community for standing behind what is right. God always wins!! #christfitgym.”
But for Weatherall, the fight isn’t over. Not by a long shot. He’s getting a group of people together to start taking back religious freedom in this country. “You know, I really feel like this is where God wants me to be right now. I’m getting a team together. We’re going to figure out what we have to do because we’re going to start taking our rights back. We’re not going to stop here. We’re going to keep on moving forward.” He said he has a legal team of godly Christian men to help him along the way.
His first step? “I’m going to pray and see where God leads us next.”
Weatherall realizes that having the logo back on the field was a “big win for Christianity across the nation. We didn’t cower down, we stood our ground firmly. It scared the enemy.” He said there’s one message all Christians can take from his case:
“The battle’s already won. And whether we won this or lost this, God’s still in control.”