That controversial electronic billboard urging St. Louis-area drivers to “Make the Gospel Great Again”
may have been taken out of rotation from the spot it was first spotted near 170 — but it's still displaying its message in Maryland Heights.
A Shout Outdoor Media billboard located at the intersection of Maryland Heights Expressway and Riverport Drive repeatedly showed the ad yesterday morning. Ironically, the billboard displayed the message above the famously smelly Champ landfill
In addition to the language echoing President Donald Trump's call to make America great again, the advertisement depicts Trump with a passage from John 1:14, “The word became flesh…” displayed underneath. A literal reading suggests the advertisers are attempting to compare President Trump to Jesus.
After KMOV first reported on the ad, located a DDI Media billboard visible from Interstate 170 near St. Charles Rock Road
, DDI Media took it down. The company stated on its Facebook page, “A recent billboard with an image of President Trump has been removed because of its political nature and the fact that it did not disclose the sponsoring organization. The ad did not meet our requirements for political ads and was taken down just a few days after it was placed.”
Shout Outdoor Media did not respond to several messages seeking comment yesterday.
DDI Media did not disclose the identity of the client who purchased the ad campaign. However, KMOV reported that a group using the name “Make the Gospel Great Again” took responsibility for it.
According to the TV station, the group posted on Facebook, "Our billboard IS NOT equating Jesus with President Donald Trump. Salvation comes only from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not any man. But God does send his messengers to us, and just as King David liberated the faithful in his day, President Trump is doing this today through his protection of the unborn, defense of our land against foreign invaders and standing up for Israel. He surrounds himself with champions for Christian Rights – Mike Pence, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. Compared to the disaster of a president we had in Obama, how is this not the ‘word become flesh’ for Americans? As Christians we must not stand against God’s will despite the persecution we face for doing so.”
The Facebook post can no longer be accessed, with the group's page seemingly being deleted or set to private. However, screengrabs from the group's conversation with a Facebook user (later posted to Twitter) show it taking responsibility for the ad. In response to a query, someone replied under the group's name that it was “nationwide, bringing the good news of a God re-taking his country, and making it a stronger, more Christian place.”
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the landfill just behind the billboard. It is not, in fact, the West Lake Landfill, but rather Champ Landfill. We regret the error.