A Lindale church unveiled a religious monument resting 15 feet from school property at a ceremony on Sunday.
The Lindale First Assembly of God, 307 Eagle Spirit Drive, unveiled an 8 feet by 8 feet stainless steel Ten Commandants monument at a ceremony with speakers for each commandment and the Lindale community.
The monument rests near the driveway entrance into E.J. Moss intermediate school, Senior Pastor Ransberger said. He said the monument also complies with city sign ordinances.
Ransberger said erecting the monument has been a dream since Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore was ordered to remove a granite Ten Commandants monument from the courthouse.
“Ten years ago, I got to thinking, ‘If they are going to take us out of the classroom, take us out of the halls of the school and take us out of the courtroom — the church needs to stand up and display that we still believe God’s got an order for his people to live by, and we need to honor that order,” Ransberger said to a cheering crowd of about 70 people in the church’s parking lot.
Ransberger said he expects the monument to be controversial.
“God (gave) his people an order to live by,” he said. “So as we dedicate this monument, I want you to know that no matter what our county goes through, I want to be counted as part of the few that remain faithful to God, even if it meant not being popular, even if it meant controversy.”
Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt showed support of the project at the ceremony.
“It’s going to be a blessing to me, and a blessing to every single student, parent teacher and staff member as they see that great monument each and every day,” Surratt said.
Leading up to the unveiling, representatives from local churches and elected officials spoke on each of the commandments, which Christians believe were written by God and given to Moses as a set of laws for his people.
The first four commandments relate to how Christians should respect God, and the final six dictate how Christians should treat each other.
Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, Precinct 5 Constable Kenneth Bibby and a representative from the Lindale Police Department also spoke in the hour-long ceremony.
“It’s not 10 suggestions of God — it’s 10 commandments of God,” Smith said.