Man who purchased land with 'Jesus' sign: 'It's been 100% private property all along'
HAWKINS, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas man says he has purchased the land where the "Jesus welcomes you to Hawkins" sign is standing.
The city council, however, has not yet rescinded the order to take the sign down. But the dispute to who actually owns the land, may be closer to being solved.
Mark McDonald describes documents he owns that show the sale of the land.
"This is a warranty deed from Beaty Funeral Home and Crowley Funeral Home to Jesus Christ Open Alter Church, LLC," McDonald says.
He adds that the documents reaffirm his belief that the city does not own this land.
"It's been a hundred percent private property all along, and the knowledge of that was there available for anyone to see," McDonald says.
McDonald says there's a bigger picture involved in all of this.
"This isn't about this sign on this property, this is about church signs across America."
Now with the documents and the sale closed, McDonald says that these property lines and the sign that's on the land belong to Jesus Christ Open Alter Church, LLC.
"The city has been notified and the city's lawyer has been notified of the correct ownership of the Jesus sign by our attorney," says McDonald.
He's hoping for a response to avoid any further action, and Hawkins Mayor Will Rogers agrees.
"You know I took an oath to uphold the constitution and my council members aren't doing that, then they need to be held accountable for that," says Rogers.
Rogers says on his end, he's been kept in the dark when it comes to the council and the sign.
"I haven't heard a word about reversing the decision, that's why we've had people guarding it against the city, they put the order in to remove it," says Rogers.
McDonald says if anything, he wants them to make the decision so that those out here do not have to stay out on watch anymore.
The city attorney says they have not had the opportunity to review the documents pertaining to the real estate transaction and will release a statement when they have done so, but they are still prepared to face any litigation that might arise out of this situation.
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