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Removal of Bible verse from welcome sign upsets former councilman

Published: Feb. 24, 2016 at 11:39 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 23, 2016 at 10:52 PM CDT
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SYLVANIA, AL (WAFF) - A fight to get a Bible verse back on a city's welcome sign has begun in DeKalb County.

The city of Sylvania took it off more than three years ago before putting back on.

Now the town council has removed it again and some people aren't happy about that.

"I intend for that Bible verse to go back up on our sign or some statement of God," says former councilman Tony Goolesby.

Goolesby wants the city to put a verse from Ephesians, "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism," back on the city's welcome signs.

Mayor Gerald Craig says the council in recent months unanimously voted to remove the verse after getting a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

"I'm very disappointed, extremely disappointed in our city council," says Goolesby.

Goolesby was on the council from 2008 to 2012 when the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a similar letter and the reaction was the same, to remove it.  So it was.

But the outcry in the community was heard as signs went up in support for the verse and the council put it back up despite the letter from the organization threatening a lawsuit.

"We never heard another word from them and so the Bible verse was on our signs when we left office in 2012," says Goolesby.

Goolesby feels the council should not have caved to people who do not even live in this state.

"Our constitution gives us freedom of religion not freedom from religion," says Goolesby.

Mayor Craig says they couldn't afford a court challenge and want to be good stewards of the city's money.

Goolesby says he's considering his options.

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