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Pastor at church with Clemson sign amused by celebrity status

It looks like one you’d see in front of a country gas station or something. It’s not much to look at. Or it wasn’t before Tuesday.

Now that the mobile marquee in front of Piedmont (S.C.) Methodist Church reads, “If you made any promises on Clemson’s last drive, services start at 10,” it’s probably been seen by millions of people.

They love it. Especially those looking to boost their monthly commissions.

“We’ve gotten more calls from people who work with LED sign companies,” lifelong Clemson fan Matthew Greer, Piedmont’s pastor says, laughing. “We’ve gotten three of those calls. But it’s all good.”

And save for the sales pitches, it’s finally gone exactly as Greer planned, i.e. viral as … heck.

Greer has been Piedmont’s pastor for just 18 months. At 31, he takes a more modern approach to community outreach.

“I like to be topical,” Greer says.

This time last year, he went out to the marquee and tweaked Galatians 3:28 to read, “In Christ there is neither Gamecock nor Tiger, nor Bronco or Panther.”

But he insists the idea that finally took him into the social media stratosphere isn’t intended as theological.

“The idea is to get attention, but to also get a chuckle,” Greer says.

He did get a call from one Alabama fan.

“He let me know that a Clemson fan keyed his car and that God don’t bless teams that run illegal plays,” Greer says.

(Some have argued that Clemson ran a pick play to score the game-winning touchdown.)

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Greer doesn’t worship football. He doesn’t pray (anymore) for victory.

“I don’t think God necessarily cares about who wins a football game,” he says, “but I think it is important for God to be glorified. I don’t think there’s any doubt that that happened after the championship game.”

That happened thanks to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, who always has been forthcoming regarding his deeply held religious beliefs.

“Only God can do this,” an emotional Swinney said when interviewed immediately after the game Monday night.

Greer thinks some may have taken Swinney’s comments the wrong way.

“When he says ‘only God can do this,’ he’s not talking about winning a trophy,” Greer says. “He’s talking about bringing a bunch of boys from all over and creating a family. I think that is what God is all about. And there’s a beautiful one at Clemson.”

And apparently there can be a beautiful sign at Piedmont Methodist Church if he would just look over some options.

Except they really can’t.

“Because of where our church is … we actually can’t have a permanent sign,” Greer says. “But there’s one (salesman) that’s really persistent. He’s like, ‘I think I may have something for you anyway.’ I’m like, ‘Sounds good.’ He’s sent us all these pictures.

“Little does he know we’re like an 80-member congregation on a good Sunday.”

Does he expect that to change? To get a bump from all the buzz?

“I’m expecting about 35-31 more people.”

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