What Hath God Wrought in Bonners Ferry
by Shari Dovale
A months-long battle with the City of Bonners Ferry was decided recently when the City Council voted to remove the words “sexual orientation, or gender identity” from the city’s vision statement and replace it with the word “all.”
The changes in the vision statement slid past the voters in the summer of 2019. It was noticed by new resident and Pastor of Lordship Church, Warren Campbell, in February of this year. Bringing it to the notice of several pastors throughout the area began a collective battle to have the words changed in favor of including everyone in the statement, not just selective groups.
Finally getting their first chance to discuss the matter in open forum in July 2020, multiple people talked against the changes to the city’s vision statement. There were a few residents supporting the statement, with the most prominent speech seemingly only focused on discontent with the new Pastor.
The city surprised residents in October when they announced the new action item to discuss changes in their vision statement.
With so many people wanting to weigh in through the public comments on this item, the meeting was moved to Becker Auditorium at Bonners Ferry High School. Nearly 3 dozen people spoke at the meeting, with only a small percentage asking to keep the current language The vast majority wanted their city to reflect a welcoming statement to everyone, and not singling out any group at all.
Councilman Ron Smith presented the motion to change the city’s statement, with Councilmember Rick Alonzo seconding the motion. The motion passed on a vote of 3-2 with Mayor Dick Staples breaking the tie.
When asked about the city’s vote to change the vision statement, Pastor Campbell smiled and said, “What Hath God Wrought.”
And he is correct. God will win this war through these small battles.
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