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Cornelius News

Pastors of historic Cornelius church will ask for removal of Confederate Monument

June 11. By Dave Yochum. As Confederate monuments re-emerge as a flash point after George Floyd’s death, it appears leaders of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius will formally request that a 110-year old Confederate statue and pedestal be removed from the front lawn of the historic church.

The Rev. Jonathan Marlowe, co-senior pastor of the church, could not be reached for comment. Church leaders in the past have said they hoped to have the monument removed. Unofficial requests to remove the statue were unsuccessful.

Donald Archer, chairman of the monument association, did not comment.

Not church property

It is a complex situation. The small plot of land on which the statue stands is controlled by a private association. The statue is not on church property.

The request is merely a request, but it comes from the co-senior pastors, Marlowe and his wife Rev. Dr. Angela Marlowe.

Monument has been defaced

The monument has been defaced at least twice in the recent past and with recent unrest there have been growing concerns that someone could be hurt during an effort to take down the statue.

A crowd of protesters attacked a Confederate monument outside a courthouse in Portsmouth, Va., and part of it fell, apparently injuring one of the demonstrators.

A little history

The Confederate Monument in front of Mt. Zion was dedicated in 1910 during the annual reunion of members of Company K, 56th NC Regiment. The crowd was estimated from 6,000 to 8,000 people. There were judges and congressmen in attendance.

Protests and violence across the U.S., including peaceful demonstrations in Cornelius and Davidson, have brought a national reckoning to the treatment of African Americans over generations. Many Confederate monuments have been damaged or toppled.

The monuments commemorate a four-year war to defend an economic system that had its knee on slaves. UNC-Charlotte history professor David Goldfield said Confederate monuments are “a statement of what we value most at present.”

No monuments to slaves

The Confederate Monument in Cornelius includes the Confederate battle flag and a Confederate soldier stands at parade rest, with his rifle resting on the ground.

There are no monuments to slaves in Cornelius.

The Lincoln Memorial, now a symbol of national reconciliation, was dedicated a dozen years later in Washington, D.C.

The Confederate monument in Cornelius cost $10,000 in 1910, the equivalent of roughly $250,000 today.


26 Responses to “Pastors of historic Cornelius church will ask for removal of Confederate Monument”

  1. Let it go. The sooner these symbols are wiped, the better. Imo

    Posted by Hari | June 11, 2020, 8:27 pm
    • It has nothing to do with Slaves of any kind!! It is Military!!!

      Posted by JaneMarie | June 11, 2020, 11:54 pm
      • Excellent point. These monuments were
        erected in the memory and honor
        of Fathers, husbands, brothers and
        sons who died or served in the Civil War.

        Posted by LynnM | June 12, 2020, 9:25 am
        • Yes- by fighting to take over land that was part of the UNITED STATES to form their own new country in order to preserve slavery. It’s in the founding articles of the Confederacy. Those who fought for the Confederacy are beloved ancestors of local families. They are honored by the plaques and graves in local cemeteries. They did, however, take up arms in an attempt to leave the United States by taking over land and making it a new country (otherwise known as treason, for which they would have been punished after the war had it not been for Grant’s belief that such prosecution would further damage the Union … and these wounds still have not healed). The states purpose of erecting this particular statue was to memorialize the Southern soldier and to “preserve the white Anglo Saxon” way of life. There simply is no defensible position for keeping a statue erected that glorifies these principles. The dead can be remembered and honored by their loved ones the same way the rest of us remember and cherish our ancestors who did not contribute to the foundation and preservation of this country in a particularly noteworthy, historic way – without a statue.

          Posted by Amy | June 13, 2020, 10:22 am
      • Read the dedication speech and you will find that it is a mix of honoring the young soldiers who died and also promoting white supremacy. Since it is on private property I think the community should pay for the moving cost if the private group agrees. If not a monument could be added on church ground to honor the emancipated people and the hope for reconciliation and justice.

        Posted by Chris Kite | June 12, 2020, 11:06 am
      • What’s next. God’s been taken out everything that’s what’s really wrong with people today. How about caring about people you passed away from COVID-19 and not some monument that’s not hurting anything at all. I even bet your not even Negative to Cornelius. I think you need to brush up on your history.

        Posted by Cardinals | June 16, 2020, 9:28 pm
    • It seems that this church has courage, strength, and are faithful in their preaching and resolve. If the removal of this old, stone cold relic of the past can help warm and unify the hearts of ALL of our town citizens, then remove it. We are better as a town if we show understanding and compassion towards each other. A statue that represents a time of oppression and mistreatment of our black citizens has no place in a civilized community.

      Posted by Clyde | June 12, 2020, 10:32 am
    • Agreed! These symbols are relics of oppression for not only people of color but human rights.

      Posted by DC | June 12, 2020, 10:53 pm
  2. Couldn’t agree with you more. Put them in a museum, where they belong!

    Posted by George | June 11, 2020, 10:37 pm
  3. Leave it. It’s history for those who fought in that war both white and black.

    Posted by Bree | June 12, 2020, 7:36 am
    • And bringing it down will be history for the people fighting racism one day. What would our future generations be more proud of – the fact that it was erected, or the fact that the people were able to evolve enough to realize why it was wrong and change it?

      Posted by Nick | June 12, 2020, 11:19 am
  4. My ancestor, James Albert Nance, fought and died in NC Infantry Regiment 56, Company K away from home and family. He owned no slaves. Here in Germany, the Germans commemorate the memory of the dead and those who served in both world wars. Can’t we show at least the same tolerance and not be manipulated by those with their own agendas as the ex-Nazi Germans?

    Posted by Gregory Little | June 12, 2020, 9:18 am
  5. If the purpose of leaving the statue is to preserve history,  either erect a statue of Ulysses S. Grant along side it to explain how the country was reunited and slavery abolished or remove the Confederate statue and place it in a museum where the Civil War is accurately depicted in its entirety.  

    Posted by Sheila | June 12, 2020, 10:20 am
  6. Trying to erase history is a sick way to ask for change. Next… education.. wait that’s already started too. LEAVE IT and I hope the private group that owns it doesn’t fold to the narrative of this being racial, because its not.

    Posted by Charlie | June 12, 2020, 10:21 am
  7. Can you not name the ‘Private Association’ that owns the land that this statue sits?

    Posted by clyde | June 12, 2020, 10:46 am
  8. If the ‘private association’ owns the land, then the church can plant large evergreen or build a dang wall around the small plot to block it out? It needs to go! It is a relic of oppression of black slaves from the military war between the North and South. How foolish to allow such a statue to continue to cause harm to our town’s citizens, both black and white!

    Posted by Loren Caulder | June 12, 2020, 11:01 am
  9. We are attempting to wipe out our entire civilization’s history—and that is totally unacceptable. Would the pastors like to see history books burned?

    Posted by John B.. | June 12, 2020, 1:32 pm
    • You are exactly right! No one slows down long enough to see what they are doing to our history. There are two sides to each situation. Tearing this monument down of military history to appease a few makes no sense! Is wiping out all of Southern American’s history really going to change anything? I think NOT!

      Posted by Phyllis | June 12, 2020, 5:41 pm
    • I appreciate history books. No one is suggesting the nonsense that they should be burned any more than removing a statue that glorifies oppression “wipes out history.”

      Posted by Kathy | June 13, 2020, 12:17 pm
  10. Sanctimonious leftwing nutjobs just looking for something to be outraged about. Get a job and contribute something to this world.

    Posted by Bruce Williams | June 13, 2020, 5:59 am
  11. Do the statues in Germany have commemorative plaques that say they are honoring the dead soldiers who fought for the Nazi Government that killed 6 million people in a genocide?

    Posted by Traci | June 13, 2020, 6:48 am
  12. I find it hard to belive we are even talking about this.
    A little history of Cornelius
    Cornelius is a Town we are prould to call home. We are proud of our Town and our people who built it. We have prayed together, cryed together, played together and raised our familys together.
    Our welcom mat has always be out to anyone wanting to be a part of our Special Town. If you cant accept what Cornelius is maybe you should live somewhere else.

    Posted by Bennett Brown | June 13, 2020, 11:09 am
  13. Leave it. It is part of our history. Not a great part but still history. We all have parts of our past we are not proud of but we use them to change our future. The same should apply to all statues. Use them as learning tools.

    Posted by Joyce | June 13, 2020, 11:49 am
  14. “Black Lives Matter” – and if I were black I would be offended everyday by that statue. Whether it is true or not, I would receive the message that there are citizens today who think preserving a stone monument to my former enslavement is more important than my own life. I don’t suggest it’s destruction – put it in a museum that people can choose to visit – remove it from a public setting that people can not choose to avoid.

    Posted by marilin campbell | June 13, 2020, 3:10 pm
  15. I am so happy!! I run by this horrible statue every morning. It is a symbol of hate. I hope the church succeeds in removing it.

    Posted by Andrea Sharp | June 15, 2020, 7:09 pm

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