Shelby church to fly Christian flag over American flag - | WBTV Charlotte

Shelby church to fly Christian flag over American flag

SHELBY, NC (WBTV) -

In Cleveland County, Old Glory flies high. From shops, to homes, to houses of worship - the red, white and blue can be spotted on every street corner.

But this Fourth of July weekend, one Shelby flag pole will be reassessing its priorities. On Sunday, Pastor Rit Varriale will raise the Christian flag above the American flag in front of Elizabeth Baptist Church.

"Our typical flag etiquette is to have the American flag above the Christian flag. But when you stop and think about it, it should be our commitment to God first, then our commitment to country," Varriale said.

The controversial move is one that Varriale noticed his fellow pastor, Walter Wilson, doing down the road a few months ago at Focus Missionary Baptist Church.

"As I was changing the rope one day, the Lord just laid on me that he is first and when he told me that, I switched the flags around," Wilson said.

Now, the two pastors are hoping to spark a movement across the country in light of the United States Supreme Courts recent ruling on same-sex marriage.

Varriale tells WBTV he believes Christians need to stand up just as the LGBT community has been doing recently.

"The reality is, they have been willing to sacrifice more and be more bold for their cause than the church of Jesus Christ for serving God, and that's got to change," Varriale said.

The decision is getting push-back online from some saying the move is disrespectful and unpatriotic. But this former Army Ranger says the move isn't about not loving his country.

"I really don't need a lecture on patriotism, I'm willing to give my life for my country. When you think of military motto's, for example, God and country, God first and then country," Varriale said.

The two pastors know the move is sure to turn heads, but say they’re okay with that.

"We know that not everyone is going to agree with that. But that's not going to make us sit down and stop talking about what's important," Wilson said.

Wilson’s church will come together with Varriale’s church on Sunday morning for the flag raising. Service begins at 11 a.m.

For more information visit godbeforegovernment.org.

Copyright 2015 WBTV. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Mint Hill neighbors say fire hydrants needed after massive blaze

    Mint Hill neighbors say fire hydrants needed after massive blaze

    Saturday, March 25 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-03-26 03:43:02 GMT
    (Christian Flores | WBTV)(Christian Flores | WBTV)

    After a Mint Hill family is now without a home after a massive fire Friday night, neighbors said the damage to the home could have been minimized, if one of their long-time concerns had been addressed. Neighbors told WBTV there are no fire hydrants in their neighborhood. The fire happened around 8 Friday night, at a home on Saffir Court. According to fire officials at the scene, the closest fire hydrant was almost a mile away. "We watched them set up the portab...

    More >>

    After a Mint Hill family is now without a home after a massive fire Friday night, neighbors said the damage to the home could have been minimized, if one of their long-time concerns had been addressed. Neighbors told WBTV there are no fire hydrants in their neighborhood. The fire happened around 8 Friday night, at a home on Saffir Court. According to fire officials at the scene, the closest fire hydrant was almost a mile away. "We watched them set up the portab...

    More >>
  • Two people killed in crash on I-77 SB in Chester County

    Two people killed in crash on I-77 SB in Chester County

    Saturday, March 25 2017 5:50 PM EDT2017-03-25 21:50:45 GMT
    (Jordan Sawyers | WBTV)(Jordan Sawyers | WBTV)

    The wreck happened on I-77 southbound at mile marker 68.

    More >>

    The wreck happened on I-77 southbound at mile marker 68.

    More >>
  • Molly's Kids: 15-year-old now living with pediatric MS

    Molly's Kids: 15-year-old now living with pediatric MS

    Saturday, March 25 2017 6:49 PM EDT2017-03-25 22:49:09 GMT

    Sarah is a sophomore who makes straight A’s at McDowell Early College. She is from the small town of Dysartsville and was diagnosed with pediatric multiple sclerosis in July of last year.

    More >>

    Sarah is a sophomore who makes straight A’s at McDowell Early College. She is from the small town of Dysartsville and was diagnosed with pediatric multiple sclerosis in July of last year.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly