Oxford Hills church leaders express opposition to casino

PARIS — Pastors from churches across the Oxford Hills region met Monday morning to express opposition to a proposed casino.

Tony Reaves/Sun Journal

Reverend Dallas E. Henry of Hosanna New Testament Church in Oxford speaks in opposition to a proposed Oxford Hills casino initiative. Behind Henry, from left, are Pastor Aaron McNally of Pleasant Valley Bible Church in Bethel, Pastor Frank Jewett of Oxford Advent Christian Church, evangelist Bob Chisholm and Pastor John Callina of Stow Baptist Church.

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.

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 's picture

Church's position

My main question for all those that express opposition to the casino concept and what else would you suggest. We've tried it your w;ay and it has only gotten worse. Instead of "Just say NO" why not "NO but what about ??" as an alternative to all the unemployment and personal hardship that area families and businesses must endure.

Jeff Douglas's picture

since these church groups are now activily engaged in politics

shouldn't they lose thier tax exempt status?

 's picture

Personal Responsibility

Oh please. When does this become a matter of personal responsibility? What about the hundreds of people who would benefit with jobs, and the thousands who would benefit from taxes that the casino would be paying. Stop sending this revenue to CT. We need this in Maine. Those who oppose it because of possible addiction, are they also opposed to bars because of alcohol addiction?

 's picture

Churches are packed near Foxwoods

My husband and I have traveled to Foxwoods several times on a Sunday Morning. The churches are literally packed. I am not kidding, parking lots are full and both sides of the road have cars parked. We have joked that people must feel guilty. Perhaps it would be a boom for the churches too. Maybe these clergy should visit them before making their decision.

 's picture

20 people showed

no doubt all the employed people of oxford came out.

pastors worried about the sunday tideings.


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