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Cornelius News

Monument Association ‘exploring all options to protect and save’ Confederate statue

Donald Archer is chairman of Mt. Zion Monument Association

June 12. By Dave Yochum. The Mt. Zion Monument Association has responded to the request to move the Confederate Monument from the front lawn of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, saying members will explore “all options available to protect and save this significant part of the history of Mecklenburg County and the state of North Carolina.”

Here is the statement sent to us by the chairman of the monument association, Donald T. Archer: The Mt. Zion Monument Association has been charged with the preservation and upkeep of one of the most significant pieces of history in North Mecklenburg. A memorial to fallen soldiers that died defending their state and country. This memorial is most likely the only one in the state of North Carolina and possibly the Southeast that was funded and dedicated by fellow North Carolina soldiers in the early 1900s. In today’s politically charged climate, many people do not view this memorial as a significant and valuable piece of history. Due to this climate, the association is exploring all options available to protect and save this significant part of the history of Mecklenburg County and the state of North Carolina. Trustees of the Association receive no pay and volunteer their time and energies to maintain and preserve this rich history of North Carolina. The Association is not funded by any company, corporation, Church, or organization.

The co-senior pastors of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Angela Marlowe and Rev. Jonathan Marlowe, went public yesterday with their request (below) to move the 110-year old statue honoring Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.

The request had been made before by clergy but never in a public way. The monument association is a private organization not associated with the church except by proximity and in some cases, simple membership in the church.

National movement in our own back yard

Monuments to Confederate soldiers and leaders are coming down across the South as America North and South reassesses its treatment of African Americans over many generations. The Cornelius statue has been vandalized twice in the past five years.


Mayor speaks out

Mayor Woody Washam issued this statement: “While the monument is a part of our history, it causes me great concern related to the current environment and that of our future. Unfortunately, this monument now delivers an offensive connotation to many in our community. I remain hopeful and confident that the current monument association (who owns the monument) will consider and ultimately make the right decisions to provide a positive message and direction for the future for all people.”

How to proceed?


The monument sits on private property deeded to the Mt. Zion Monument Association more than a century ago. The association members are generations removed from the people who erected it 110 years ago.

Monumental challenges lie ahead if it is to be moved: Who pays to move it? The members of the association are generations removed from those who erected it. Where could it go? It’s unclear if the governing body of the United Methodist Church will permit it go into the church-owned cemetery. At this point no one has stepped forward to take the monument or pay for its removal.

Letter from co-senior pastors of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church:

The Confederate monument and property is not owned by Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, nor is it affiliated with Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. 

The monument is owned and maintained by the Mt. Zion Monument Association, and it has been since its installation in 1909, when they installed it beside the church property.  


The Church has no authority to remove the monument.

In light of the recent events surrounding the killing of George Floyd by white police officers in Minneapolis, and the many Black women, men and children before him, we’re seeing a moment of reckoning across the country. 

As United Methodists, we believe that in baptism, we are commissioned to resist injustice. Our founder John Wesley’s first rule encourages us to do no harm. Today, we are seeing very clearly the harm inflicted on Black people in our communities as a result of the long heritage of racism and white supremacy that pervade our society, as it has from our country’s founding. Policies are changing and confederate monuments similar to this one are coming down around the country. We call on the Mt. Zion Monument Association to consider the harm their monument causes to our Black brothers and sisters.   We ask them to listen to all the voices in our community, particularly the Black community of Cornelius, as they consider what to do with their monument.  We stand ready to assist them as they go about the hard process of listening to their neighbors.

—Rev. Jonathan Marlowe and Rev. Dr. Angela Marlowe


25 Responses to “Monument Association ‘exploring all options to protect and save’ Confederate statue”

  1. I am a resident and been in Cornelius for 40 years. Plus a lot lot of family members buried in the cemetery. I could accept the monument going to the old cemetery but come on. Why do only the black community get to vote. U ask any of the Potts or Raeford in Davidson it dont bother them a bit. This has nothing to do with blacks or whites. This soldier is my ancestors. I think this is totally pitiful that we would do this. I will donate to move to the cemetery but Please Lord don’t do this!!!! Tell us what to do.From a citizen of Cornelius please don’t let this happen. We are not RACIS!!

    Posted by Sharon Henson | June 12, 2020, 3:59 pm
    • It is a monument to soldiers who lost their war, andvthat war was about keeping slaves.
      Start a museum or ssd something or break it up and give the rubble to those who think it is ssd o valuable. Only in the south do we celebrate being losers.
      Have you ever actually
      Y talked in depth to those families and how they really feel about it.

      Posted by Charlotte Epley | June 12, 2020, 5:16 pm
      • Not all the solders that died in that war were slave owners, or even approved of slavery. Most were conscripted into service and many never came home. Mothers and wives had no body to bury, no grave to cry on. These memorials represent the family members lost.

        Posted by Debbie J H | June 27, 2020, 8:25 pm
    • Wow Sharon, can’t believe your post! You can’t be serious!! Firstly, it is not only the blacks in Cornelius and surrounding areas who are offended by this monstrosity, but so are many white people. But I guess that never crossed your mind. Secondly, since when do two families speak for all black people in Cornelius and the surrounding areas. Also, why not trying to ask them one time what they really think about this issue. I’m sure the answer that you are getting from them, is not the real answer. I’m sure their position is if you ask me a Stupid question, I’ll give you a Stupid answer. Finally, maybe this statue should be moved to the old Cemetery, right alongside your Evil ancestors. You claim to be religious, just like your ancestors did, who were slave owners and violated the most sacred of Godly principles. I hate to break the bad news to you, but they are rotting in hell. Sentenced to Eternal damnation, for their violation of God. And if you are not careful, you’ll be joining them. I commend your Pastors, for having the leadership and the human decency, to ask publicly that this Memorial to evil be removed from in front of their Church. Listen to your Pastors and Faith leaders, because you obviously need their guidance.

      Posted by Goodness Reigns | June 13, 2020, 11:49 am
      • I would like to comment that your accusation of telling someone that their evil ancestors are rotting in Hell is really harsh. And to tell them they should be careful or they will be joining them doesn’t sound like Goodness Reigns at all. Only the Lord can pass final judgement on us. It’s also not accurate to accuse every soldier or white family as slave owners. It’s just not logical that thousands of men would be willing to die to keep something they don’t even own themselves. They knew their homelands were going to be attacked and they needed to defend their families and what little land they owned. Most of them never made it back home and for that reason, we don’t honor the reason for the war but our families that died.

        Posted by Brian | July 18, 2020, 10:50 pm
      • If you are offended by this monument, you need a history lesson.

        Posted by Al Forbes | September 5, 2020, 8:05 pm
    • Why not place another dedicated to African Americans next to it. Better to symbolize the divide there once was and outcome of love. Of the millions of lives that were lost during the war, only a small percentage owned slaves. The wealthy Democrat plantation owners both north and south owned slaves and didn’t fight while the bulk of poor and young men fought and died. The pyramids in Egypt and other “wonders” were all built by slaves but are celebrated by their societies and welcome visitors to see history of the world. You can’t legislate love and removing war monuments will not have any impact in healing us. I think putting something next to it would be more impactful in bringing people together.

      Posted by Tax payer of Cornelius | June 13, 2020, 3:04 pm
    • I stand in total agreement with Sharon. When I look at the monument I have a sense of pride. I feel this way about all monuments I see, knowing I have ancestors who fought in the various wars beginning with the civil war. I can recite the name of each of them. I am proud of them all and appreciate every monument erected to our veterans of all wars. It breaks my heart to see all the history being destroyed all over the world by tearing down and defacing the statues. Since the monument in question does not stand on the property of Mt. Zion, I personally see no reason why they should be asking for it to be removed any more than people like myself are asking that it remain. North Carolina has always been a big contributor of soldiers in all wars. Cornelius has a proud history of this, as evidence just up the street at our veterans memorial listing their names. I am a proud relative of veterans who served in all our wars including my son and husband. Elaine Howard

      Posted by Elaine Howard | June 14, 2020, 4:22 pm
    • I am white. My family history in NC dates back to the 1700s. Some of my ancestors were Confederate soldiers.

      I am offended by this racist statue. If you are not offended by the inherent racism of this statue then you should be offended by the inherent anti-American sentiment of it. They were not fighting for the USA, they were fighting for the CSA. That’s not my country.

      Posted by Tatia Prieto | June 27, 2020, 3:54 pm
    • I agree with you Sharon!

      Posted by Brian | July 18, 2020, 9:45 pm
  2. If financing the removal of this gross insult to human decency is a problem, I’d be willing to start a go fund me campaign to remove this thing! I am sure that there are many people of goodwill who would gladly contribute to finding this statue and all it represents, a nice home in a museum somewhere, where it rightfully belongs!!

    Posted by Goodness Reigns | June 12, 2020, 4:03 pm
  3. The monument is a memorial to the dead, raised by their comrades, and not an attack on African Americans or any other group. If certain people don’t like it then we all have things in life we must tolerate. The ministers are white. For over a hundred years there has been no complaint, to my knowledge, from the black community in Cornelius. Perhaps the Marlowes should better tend to their flock. I find their meddling offensive.

    Posted by Gregory Little | June 12, 2020, 5:09 pm
  4. Just wanted to throw out this idea. The Levine museum of the new South located in downtown Charlotte has had an exhibit called cornfields to skyscrapers since we moved here 15 years ago. Exhibit tells the history of Charlotte and perhaps they could use it as an educational piece. It would be safe and represented as a piece of history.

    Posted by Sara L Thomas | June 12, 2020, 5:19 pm
  5. I pray that the statue continues to stay where it is and it really isn’t about the statue, it’s about nothing but control and intimation. The sad thing is people are afraid to say what they really think for fear of being called a racist, that’s you intimidation. I know who I am so it doesn’t bother me one bit what people think.
    Don’t ever lower your standards just to make someone else feel better because it’s not really about that, it’s about control.
    You could remove every statue in this country and it will change Nothing but only divide this country more.

    Posted by Southern Reigns | June 13, 2020, 12:16 am
  6. And yep, and I’m sure it didn’t bother your ancestors to be called what they were! I’m sure it didn’t bother them in the least, to violate God’s most sacred principle, and enslave another of his children. You sound just as pathetic, as your evil ancestors. What kind of intimidation did they perpetrate on the black people who they made their slaves. And tthese Evil poor excuses for a human beings are rotting in hell as a result. And again, if you are not careful, you’ll be joining them.

    Posted by Goodness Reigns | June 13, 2020, 12:04 pm
    • Goodness reigns _whoever you are and whatever that means_you need to read a Bible_KJV of course and see what the Bible teaches on slavery it is a far cry from your feelings on it you probably don’t even know what a bale of cotton weighs

      Posted by Earl Edmondson | August 7, 2020, 2:02 pm
  7. I agree that the statue should stay in it’s present location.This was build by veterans in support for those died in the Civil War. (40 are buried in the cemetery.) This happened in early 1900’s was supported by high delegates from the state and locate government. Now look at monument built in down town Cornelius for veterans that have served in the military It was paid half by the town and the other by Post 86 American Legion. Now you probably can tell I served my country for 4 years and these men that buried served their state as well.

    Posted by David Johnson | June 13, 2020, 2:24 pm
    • One monument was built for those who fought for the USA. One was built for those who fought for the CSA. One of those ain’t my country.

      Posted by Tatia Prieto | June 27, 2020, 4:55 pm
    • The pyramids were not built by slaves. That is an incorrect assumption based on the non-historical biblical Exodus story from the Bible, which is not supported by actual historical evidence. If one would study history rather then religious literature, there is a much more realistic picture that would be revealed. These monuments were built not to honor, but to intimidate and disparage African Americans and to elevate the ideals of racism white supremacy. The height of Confederate monument building was 1920-1925. The Tulsa Massacre was in 1921. The resurgence of the KKK began after reconstruction when rather than co-exist peacefully, racists published newspaper articles about “N—– rule” to incite violence. You have been brainwashed with the “lost cause” romanticized version of the TRUE historical events of this nation. Yes it was about ‘states rights’… to continue and maintain the institution of chattel slavery.

      Posted by Real History Student | August 21, 2020, 1:44 am
  8. If the statue is offensive to ministers Marlowe, maybe they should ask that they should be moved to another church.
    I attended that church for many years. It’s a part of history.
    Just leave it alone!!!

    Posted by Sandra Wallace | June 14, 2020, 5:39 pm
  9. Move all the monuments to Stone Mountain Park… One place for all of them….simple

    Posted by Randy Shelton | August 22, 2020, 2:21 am
  10. I am an Australian who is a keen civil war buff taking neither side. My family came to Australia after the Communists took over my country. I fought alongside Americans black and white in Vietnam in 1971. The Australians were involved in a huge clash with North Vietnamese and Vietcong at Lon Tan. Today there stands a memorial to the Australians who died. The Vietnamese have never and will not consider removing this dedication to a fallen enemy , maybe even invaders. Shouldn’t the American people also be more charitable to the Confederate dead. If they can’t turn the other cheek what does that say about today’s generation of black and white. In the worst scenario how about moving the statues to confederate cemeteries or are they next to be obliterated?

    Posted by Bela John Szirt | September 3, 2020, 7:49 pm

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