A retired orthopedic surgeon turned entrepreneur, Ann Arbor resident Larry Johnson was so frustrated by what he perceives to be a backward Michigan business climate that he wrote a prayer and had it mounted on four highway billboards, the information-restricted Ann Arbor News reports Tuesday.
"Dear Gracious Heavenly Father," it reads, "Forgive us our sin of being dependent upon the Automobile Industry and not on You. Please restore invention, productivity and prosperity."
It's signed: "In Jesus Name, A Michigan Citizen."
The 71-year-old Johnson owns Prescription Putting, a company specializing in innovative golf putters and putting methods.
"Michigan's depressed. It has been dependent on the auto industry and is feeling it,'' said Johnson. "I wanted to bring business to Michigan.''
"I believe there are three human dimensions: mental, physical and spiritual,'' said Johnson. "Michigan has exhausted the mental and physical. Maybe we should look at the spiritual.''
Johnson declined to say what he paid Adams Outdoor Advertising, but at Adams' Lansing office, general manager Jeannine Dodson said that depending on location, a billboard could cost $2,000 to $5,000 per month.
"This isn't about me, and I'm not looking for money or attention. It's about my love and concern for Michigan,'' said Johnson, who attended Michigan State University on an athletic scholarship.