June 29, 2022

Removing Bible verse from welcome sign upsets former councilman

SYLVANIA, AL (WAFF) — A fight to salvage a Bible verse from a town’s welcome sign has begun in DeKalb County.

The city of Sylvania removed it over three years ago before handing it over.

Now the city council has taken it down again and some people are not happy with that.

“I intend to put this Bible verse up on our sign or on a statement from 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 said council voted unanimously in recent months to remove the verse after receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“I am very disappointed, extremely disappointed with our council,” Goolesby said.

Goolesby was a board member from 2008 to 2012 when the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a similar letter and the reaction was the same, to withdraw it. So that was it.

But outcry in the community was heard as placards supported the verse and the council reinstated it despite the organization’s letter threatening legal action.

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

Goolesby feels the council shouldn’t have bowed to people who don’t even live in this state.

“Our constitution gives us freedom of religion, not freedom of religion,” Goolesby says.

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

Goolesby says he is considering his options.

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