Some Question Church’s Color Choice

Clay Today

Aug. 18, 2011

The Resurrection Christian Life Center paint color stirs controversy.

By Christina Leach Phillips

Correspondent

MIDDLEBURG — To Pastor Jonathan Bryant, the purple and yellow color he recently had painted on the outside of the Resurrection Christian Life Center represents “royalty,” but to his neighbors, the church is an “eyesore” that needs to be repainted. 

Marty Dowling, who lives in Eagle Glen, a subdivision near the church, said he considers the colors “visual terrorism.” 

“It’s a shock to your system when you see it,” he said. 

Dowling said many of his neighbors have complained about the brightly-painted church at the intersection of CR 220 and CR 209 (Russell Road) in Middleburg, and they have contacted county officials, including Clay County Commissioner Ronnie Robinson. 

According to Dowling, Robinson said that the church was within its rights to paint the building the colors they did, because they had all the necessary permits and orders. 

Dowling said, “I don’t care if they do have all their t’s crossed, I want some answers, and somebody is going to have to answer for how that building got painted that color.” 

Robinson told Clay Today, “I don’t know too many counties that have an ordinance against a building painted a particular color, unless you are into a development where you have covenants and restrictions.” 

The Clay County Commissioner said he would not consider an ordinance against painting buildings in certain colors. “I don’t think it’s the government’s job to tell somebody what color to paint a building,” he said. 

Dowling said, “I am more concerned about the community as a whole. What protects the community from organizations coming in and buying up these buildings and painting them purple?  It has nothing to do with the group itself — It’s the paint scheme they have chosen that becomes an eyesore.” 

Dowling said he doesn’t see this happening in areas like Fleming Island and Eagle Harbor. “People will say, ‘Those are all CCD communities down there at Fleming Island and Eagle Harbor,’” he said.  “I know that — We live at one on this corner, but it doesn’t extend. I pay my dues, but the association has no control what goes on outside.” 

Th Resurrection Christian Life Center recently moved fromOrangePark to its present location in Middleburg. Previous to the move, Dowling said, “It was such a pretty church. It has been a landmark for years and has always been nice, although it was starting to deteriorate some.” 

He said he was glad to see that the church was being repaired, until he saw the paint colors. Then, he said, “Oh, no!” 

Pastor Bryant said in an interview with channel 47 Action News that he and his congregation took the colors that were on the inside of the church and brought them outside. “Purple represents royalty,” he said. “These were the colors given to me, not only that, they look good.” 

Dowling, who works for Clay County Schools, said, “I don’t like it, and I am going to try to do as much as I can do to maybe persuade them to change the color. I know it’s an expense — I even told Ronnie Robinson that I would kick in the first $100 towards a paint job.”  

Although Bryant was unavailable for comment, Robinson said he spoke to him, and he said that “they liked the color very much, and at this time, they wouldn’t consider changing it.” 

“It’s not anything to do with the money right now,” said Robinson, “I can understand Mr. Dowling not liking the color of the church. . .” 

“Would I rather it be another color?  I would.  Do I think he has a right to paint it that color?  I do think that,” he said.