The faith community has declared its solid support for a brick-and-mortar site for Chick fil-A in Richland County, Ohio. The Richland Community Prayer Network released an announcement with the endorsements of leading clergymen from over 100 local congregations.
The joint statement comes after one of only six mobile Chick fil-A food trucks in the nation visited several sites inside the county as part of a market study. The company does not have a restaurant within 53 miles of Mansfield but has said it now intends to look at available properties in the area.
"According to the clergy statement, "The exceptional reputation of Chick fil-A as a business and as a community stakeholder is unmatched. The company's mission statement includes the goal of 'glorifying God,' which provides perspective on the regal treatment it gives its customers."
Chick-fil-A has a reputation of forming strong ties to its local communities.
Rev. Rick Wiseman, one of the signers of the clergy statement, has a personal reason for giving his support.
"I have a son who pastors a church in Woodstock, Georgia, who six years ago lost his hearing in one ear. As it turns out, Chick fil-A paid over $40,000 for my son to get cochlear implant surgery, which helped restore my son's hearing.
"I have the highest respect for this company. Perhaps God is moving north central Ohio to spiritual revival with God-fearing companies possibly coming to our area."
The clergy statement went on to say their area has a strong faith tradition and wholeheartedly supports the company, even though other places around the country have not.
While named America's favorite restaurant chain, Chick fil-A has been barred from college campuses and various cities, and openly criticized for its support of faith-based ministries and religious convictions.
It is for this reason that one of the signers of the clergy joint statement believes Chick fil-A has such loyal support from its customer base.
"Any business that chooses to honor God in the way they have holds great esteem," says Rev. Hank Webb. "One of the outstanding things they do is close their doors on Sunday to honor God Not many businesses want to lose Sunday revenue, but they have chosen to stray true to their convictions and consequently have prospered."
Another signer, Rev. Jim Marshall, says, "I believe we need more faith-based businesses to help bring positive change that Richland County is ready for. More people are beginning to look upward to the heavens for answers to bring this change."
In conclusion, the joint statement said, "We are eagerly 'setting the table' in anticipation for the arrival of Chick fil-A and firmly believe that our families will taste and see that the Lord is good."
This could very well be a match made in heaven.
This article originally appeared at Frontlines Ohio. Submitted by Richland Community Prayer Network.
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