‘Hateful’ sign in Curry County creates controversy

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A religious sign in one New Mexico county is stirring up debate. Some people want it taken down, saying it gives visitors the wrong impression.

The sign sits on private property just off Highway 60. It’s one of the first things you see coming into Clovis from Texas.

“It’s extremely unwelcoming,” said Cassandra O’Boyle.

Some people say they dread driving by it, calling it disturbing and hateful. They want it gone.

“First impressions make everything, you know, they’re lasting, so that’s something that everybody coming in from anywhere is seeing. Makes you not want to stop here,” said Kristina Defoor.

The religious billboard has been there for years, the messages changing from time to time.

O’Boyle says it’s become increasingly more aggressive.

“The true Christians aren’t like that at all. They’re more raised with love and acceptance than that, and it kind of makes a bad name on Christians themselves,” she said.

“It just tells you that everybody in town is just terrible people and that’s not the case,” said Defoor.

Others like Verlin Belcher, disagree.

“As Christians we got to get our word out there,” he said. “America is built on freedom of religion. Every religion has their own opinion, they can say whatever they want.”

The man behind it, William “Dub” Hays, has numerous religious signs on his property. He was a missionary who made a handful of trips to Africa.

“He felt like that was a testimony for his Lord. When he wasn’t in the states to do it personally…well, his signs did it for him,” said friend Jerry Fisher.

However, the future of the sign is up in the air after Hays died from cancer in June.

O’Boyle hopes it’ll soon be a thing of the past.

“The sign just needs to be positive, more uplifting, I feel. Maybe give the town a better name,” said O’Boyle.

KRQE News 13 reached out to Hays’ son. He says his dad meant well, but he doesn’t agree with the signs.

The 38-acre plot of land is now for sale. He hopes whoever buys it takes them down.

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