Churches show support for Whiteville cross - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Churches show support for Whiteville cross

A battle of "freedom from religion" versus "freedom of religion" played out along a nine mile stretch of Hardeman County Saturday morning. A battle of "freedom from religion" versus "freedom of religion" played out along a nine mile stretch of Hardeman County Saturday morning.

(WMC-TV) - A battle of "freedom from religion" versus "freedom of religion" played out along a nine mile stretch of Hardeman County Saturday morning.

Nearly 50 Mid-South churches marched through the streets of Hardeman County baring a 12-foot cross to take a stand.

Dozens of Hardeman County residents walked nine miles carrying a 12-foot cross to support of religion.

"We're showing our love for Him by carrying the cross to Whiteville and presenting it to a city that is under persecution right now," said Bolivar resident Nancy Hammons.

Bolivar resident Jimmy Sain came up the idea to march from Bolivar to Whiteville to support Whiteville Mayor James Bellar after the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit claiming a resident was offended by the cross atop the city water tower.

"This is one way I thought we could show our appreciation for the mayor having the courage he's had," said Sain.

Bellar kept the cross standing because he satisfied the law separating church and state - by simply ordering one arm to be removed from the cross.

Saturday, marchers carried banners, sang residents all along the walk erected crosses and Jesus signs on their lawns.

"We believe what we believe and other people can believe what they believe, but we're standing up for our Christ and His cross," said Sain.

Martha Jewel Anderson made the 40-pound, cardboard cross.

"This was an opportunity of service not only for my church and my Lord and Savior, but for my community as well," she said.

Marchers said the walk was for Whiteville, not against the foundation.

"We're praying for them every day," said Hammons. "We love them and we're not doing this against them."

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