PARIS — Pastors from churches across the Oxford Hills region met Monday morning to express opposition to a proposed casino.
About a dozen local ministers, pastors and evangelists stood behind the Rev. Dallas Henry of Hosanna New Testament Church as he delivered a prepared speech. About 20 members of local churches and the Oxford Hills No on 1 campaign gathered in Moore Park at the Veterans Memorial for the event.
Henry spoke about Aaron Walsh, a former Army officer who became addicted to gambling in Korea. Walsh killed himself in Baxter State Park in 2006 after he began gambling again after Hollywood Slots opened in Bangor.
Walsh is the namesake of the Warrant Officer Aaron Walsh Stop DOD-Sponsored Gambling Act, a bill introduced in 2007 to ban slot machines on military bases.
The bill requires a small percentage of casino revenues go to the Gambling Control Board, which includes funding for gambling addiction counseling services.
The press conference was sponsored by the Pastors Prayer Fellowship of the Oxford Hills, which includes churches the Oxford Advent Christian Church, Faith Chapel/Assembly of God in Oxford, Stow Baptist Church, Faith Community Church in Lovell, Hosanna New Testament Church in Oxford, South Paris Baptist Church, Norway Church of the Nazarene, Spurrs Corner Alliance Church in Otisfield and Twin Bridges Pentecostal in Harrison.