October 2006 – “Where did you get that Jesus sign?”
Al Jagger, 88-year-old retired life insurance salesman from Eugene, Oregon, has the answer.
These Jesus signs, which now have an approximate worldwide distribution of 50,000 since being created almost three years ago, were the response to a few sleepless nights plagued by much frustration over the commercialization of Christmas.
In 2003, Jagger was so distressed over the holiday hype of materialism that overshadowed the season’s religious roots that he shared his disgust with his longtime friend Willie Houmes. Together the men brainstormed about what they could do to bring the real reason for the season into focus. Their creative juices began to flow when they noticed a political yard sign on someone’s lawn.
“That’s when we thought, let’s put Jesus’ birthday on a sign,” Houmes told a Eugene newspaper in a 2004 article.
Little did they know how the Lord would take that one thought and multiply it thousands of times for His glory. Jagger and Houmes, along with a group of friends and businessmen, began creating hundreds of beige-colored lawn signs with a very simple message: “Christmas, Jesus, Celebrate His Birth.”
Jagger then created a similar sign for the Easter season which reads: “Easter, Jesus, He is Risen.” He named the ministry Messengers of Truth: Informing Communities About Jesus.
The Messengers of Truth signs can now be seen across a number of states including Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, California and Arizona. Some of the signs are even on display as far away as India, Africa and Australia. He encourages those who display the Christmas signs to do so from November 26 to January 1, annually.
Jagger first distributed the signs through churches and has added Christian store outlets. He also takes orders over the phone at 541- 513-0847.
While Jagger was overwhelmed in the beginning by the plastic signs that filled his garage, he now uses a company that is capable of mass producing 2,000 signs in three hours.
“Its the biggest sign company on the West Coast, and I knew nothing about it … and it’s three miles from my house,” Jagger said. “So the Lord helped put things together – a number of things like that, as I look back on it.”
But Jagger is not in it for the money. His purpose is to share the message of Jesus. He even encourages people to buy the 18˝ x 24˝ yard signs in bulk and resell them as fundraisers for Christian-based groups. The signs are available in lots of 50. Static window signs bearing the same messages are also for sale in lots of 10.
Specific pricing information is available at by phone.
“If everyone does their part, the world will surpass 60,000 Jesus Truth signs this Easter.”
“[But] I just don’t really have a goal,” Jagger said. “I just want to keep pressing it if the Lord’s in it and wants it to go.”