ALLIANCE — What is a dentist’s favorite hymn? “Crown Him With Many Crowns.”

Some churches use the signs out front to simply announce service times. Others use them as an opportunity to make a point or get a laugh. Pastor Josh Smith at First Baptist Church has done both since taking the reins of the church’s digital sign last fall.

Smith came on as a preaching pastor in November 2017 and became the full-time pastor in February 2018. He previously spent time as a youth pastor and associate pastor at Science Hill Community Church and as chaplain at Alliance Community Hospital.

“I think he’s done a great job so far,” said Kim Holbrook, chair of the publicity committee and director of the handbell choir at First Baptist. “He’s brought a breath of fresh air to the church. He’s young, he’s enthusiastic, he loves what he’s doing and it shows.”

The young pastor, who is known for his sense of humor, admits one of his favorite parts of his job is now coming up with ideas for the church sign that grab people’s attention.

Smith began in November with “Does life stink? We have a pew for you.” He said people thought it was funny so he followed it up with “Get a hot fudge sundae next door. Get a zero calorie guilt free Sunday here” (a Dairy Queen is the church's neighbor).

“The reaction kept building. It got people talking,” Smith said, with message displays such as "Be salt and light, not salty and lit” and “A dam holds back water. It is not God’s last name.”

In the beginning, the sign was just used for messages. Then he discovered pictures would work and since has been using Internet memes — humorous images that spread rapidly by Internet users.

The first idea he had to use a meme shows an image of rapper Drake, and he wondered if it would show up on the sign.

“I just uploaded the picture to the cloud and I walked out there and was like, oh my gosh, it shows up clear as day. This opens up a whole new world of opportunity,” he recalled. “So once I saw the picture would show up wonderfully, that’s when I really pressed into the meme.”

His memes have included everything from Justin Timberlake to “Game of Thrones” and his personal favorite, Andy Bernard, a character from “The Office.” Smith said he Googles meme templates to find a popular one and then thinks up something relevant to church.

While reactions have been mostly positive, Smith said not everyone gets some of the pop culture references.

“I try to keep it somewhat general enough to where people will understand,” he said.

The church sign has made its way online as well, being posted on social media and now having its own Instagram account (@thatbaptistchurchsign) as a way to engage the younger generations.

One sign even went viral online, being picked up using a hashtag (#churchsigns) and getting chosen as featured church sign for the week of Christmas. The sign was even retweeted by Christian band Crowder, which helped it go viral.

“It was a fun 15 minutes,” Smith said.

Smith does have a litmus test before he loads a new message to the church sign though — his wife, Chrissy.

“She’s usually my gauge. I’ll send it to her and ask is this too edgy; is this too divisive, and she’ll let me know,” he said. “If I get back the cry laughing emoji or a ‘bahahahaha,’ I know it’s good to go.”