Hawkins city council votes to take down controversial 'Jesus' sign within 30 days

Published: Sep. 21, 2015 at 11:09 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM CDT
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HAWKINS, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas city council has voted to take down a controversial "Jesus Welcomes you to Hawkins" sign after several months of debate concerning its future.

In June, the Freedom from Religion Foundation asked the city council to remove the sign because it sits on city property and violates the separation of church and state. The city's mayor, Will Rogers, disagreed with the motion.

According to Wood County tax records the plot where the sign sits belongs to the city, but a land attorney found that the land likely belongs to a funeral home across the street.

Read More: Land attorney: 'Jesus' sign does not sit on city property

Rogers said he believes the council is making a mistake in moving the sign.

"For the city to come back and say that's definitely on our property [is incorrect because] the last survey was not accurate based upon deeds." Rogers said. "I asked for proof that it was on city property and I got none."

Read More: 'Jesus Welcomes you to Hawkins' signs multiply across city

On Monday night, council members voted to take the sign down, which will be placed in storage until its rightful owner comes forward to claim it.

The sign has been standing since 2011, after Hawkins mayor Will Rogers first asked city council for permission to erect the sign before he became mayor.

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