Statue draws mixed emotions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Statue draws mixed emotions

The cross-clutching "Statue of Liberation" has prompted mixed opinions since she was dedicated.

"I can take it or leave it," says one passer-by.

"I think it's neat," says another.

"I would rather it not be there," says a third.

World Overcomers Church anticipated that some people would want to bring her down as soon as she went up.

"Deep down, I knew I was going to have some controversy," says Pastor Alton Williams.

Williams is not surprised a protest is in the works.

"Some people have serious issues with a statue," says Williams.  "I understand that," he adds.  "And they got the right to protest if they please."

A group called the Black Church Reform Committee is behind this protest.  This flyer promotes it.  Dr. Isaac Richmond is the chief critic.  He's made news before by organizing a protest of the Tennessee Waltz investigation.  A month earlier, he led a demonstration outside juvenile court.  Dr. Richmond answered neither our knocks or phone calls seeking comment on his latest fight.  It's a fight Pastor Williams says he welcomes.

"We welcome it," says Williams.  "Anybody who wants to protest definitely has that right in America," he adds.

He stands behind the "Statue of Liberation" and her 260-thousand dollar price-tag.

"I feel that it is money well spent," says Williams.

And he says the church has no intention of removing her from its front lawn.

The statue is far from finished.  A replica of Jesus' tomb is being built in the base.  A parking lot for visitors is also being added.

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