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Cornelius News

Mt. Zion governing body calls for removal of Confederate monument

July 3. By Dave Yochum. The overall governing body of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church is calling on the people who control the Confederate Monument in front of the historic church to remove it immediately.

A statement issued last night by the Administrative Board of Mt. Zion backs up a call from the co-senior pastors of the church, the Rev. Dr. Angela Marlow and the Rev. Jonathan Marlowe, “to consider the harm their monument causes to our Black brothers and sisters​” ​and to remove the statue.

Jonathan, Angela Marlowe

The Mt. Zion Monumental Association, which dates back more than 110 years to when the Confederate soldier and granite monument were erected, did not.

​​It sits on a small patch of lawn—fenced in now to prevent more vandalism—controlled by the association.

Donald Archer, the monument association’s chairman, ​has not responded to recent requests for comment from Cornelius Today. But in a statement after the Marlowes’ call to remove the statue, he said the “association is “exploring all options available to protect and save the monument​.”

Church working for ‘racial justice’

​Last night’s statement from the church’s administrative board also called “on the members of our church and community to pray for the removal of the monument and for racial healing in our community and beyond. We encourage all of us to work for racial justice.​”

It’s the first time the church itself has called for the removal of the statue which was erected with much fanfare in 1910.

​Confederate monuments were widely vandalized after the 2015 massacre of Black church members by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C., and the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., that left one person dead and 19 injured.

Monuments coming down

​The monument here in Cornelius was vandalized each time and remains under 24-hour video surveillance.​ Subsequently the Unity in Community organization was formed to promote healing and equality in North Mecklenburg.

They, too, have called for the monument’s removal.

​Protests over the May 25 police killing of George Floyd ​in Minneapolis ​reignited calls to take the​ monuments​ down.

Archer at monument after it was vandalized

​The Confederate Monument in front of Mt. Zion is one of the last remaining in Mecklenburg County, and, for many people, a thumb in the eye.

The statement from the Mt. Zion administrative board says the church is a “very warm, welcoming, and hospitable congregation… But we acknowledge that the confederate monument in front of our church is perceived by many people as offensive. For many people, the outward appearance that they see does not match the inward reality that we know. We seek to bring these two into alignment with each other.”

Archer, a Statesville resident whose family owned a long-time propane business in Cornelius, did not respond to the administrative board as of Thursday night.


19 Responses to “Mt. Zion governing body calls for removal of Confederate monument”

  1. I think it should be left as it is. There is 115 years of history for Cornelius with that monument. Why try to remove or change History? Maybe should consider changing co-senior Pastors!

    Posted by Randle Montgomery | July 3, 2020, 9:52 am
  2. Thank you, Mt. Zion UMC and the senior pastors, for taking this important position for racial healing in Cornelius! I am so thankful for this type of leadership.

    Posted by Marla Brown | July 3, 2020, 10:03 am
  3. So we don’t have any history? History is not allowed? We didn’t have confederate soldiers who fought and died for North Carolina, and for whatever else they in their own mind were fighting for? They didn’t have family that loved them and felt great loss? How many confederate soldiers were slave owners and thought that they were fighting for the right of the rich to own slaves? I’m quite certain it was an exceedingly small number. Can’t the monuments remain as a reminder of that very war, and that it brought about the end of slavery? Who, when they look at that monument thinks it honors the slave holding era or the idea of slavery? Seriously. You may certainly appease some, especially the Marxists at the heart of BLM movement by the removal of this monument, while at the same time gouging out local history. Not good.

    Posted by Mark Twain | July 3, 2020, 10:18 am
    • Mark Twain, huh? I thought he was a humorist. The only funny thing here is “Marxists at the heart of BLM movement”. Who are these “Marxists”? Do you know any of them or are you just into name calling like your leader? Actually you are funny just like the original Mark Twain. Here is the deal: The Confederate soldier was a Marxist in rebellion. You can feel sorry for him because he was duped into fighting for the Marxist slave owners. But it is really best to forget about this poor loser. Not all history is worth remembering.

      Posted by Ken | July 3, 2020, 2:29 pm
      • thanks for the incomprehensible reply. good effort. now try again. logic and reason, try it…

        are u suggesting BLM would not be happy with the removal of the statue? are implying that they are not Marxist? hint, they self indemnify as marxist.

        Posted by Mark Twain | July 3, 2020, 4:08 pm
  4. Erasing our history will not, in my opinion, improve the lives of anyone in this community. If I thought it would, I would be all in on removing this statue. The Cross on top of our churches offends a lot of people—- should they be removed? I think not!

    Posted by John Blakely | July 3, 2020, 10:48 am
    • You are so wrong! How do crosses offend? You have no empathy for the African American people of this community. Maybe you should go an ask some of the black people in Cornelius. Ignorance is the problem.

      Posted by D. Pelucio | July 3, 2020, 2:21 pm
    • John: If you think about it, removing the statue will improve the lives of those who are offended by it. They don’t have to be reminded about the fight to preserve slavery. The cross is a little different because it does not represent slavery. So the cross can stay.

      Posted by Ken | July 3, 2020, 2:35 pm
    • If someone stole your child, enslaved them and then traded them as property, would you want that person to have a statue and a place of honor in our community? I would hope not.

      Posted by David H | July 3, 2020, 5:02 pm
  5. Let’s hope and pray the Trump bikers aren’t passing by it tomorrow on their Trump Pride day. Rumor mill has it there will be a lot of NASCAR fans participating.

    Posted by Judy | July 3, 2020, 11:04 am
  6. No, Randle, some things are not worth remembering. Those who fought for slavery were very wrong because slavery is very wrong. It’s hard to believe that good people, including good religious people, think that those who fought for slavery deserve to be remembered. The Civil War needs to end. Get over it, Randle.

    Posted by Ken | July 3, 2020, 2:42 pm
  7. As a long time member of Mt. Zion UMC and my husband, life-long, to think that my church has come to this solution without a vote from its congregation says a lot about the people in control. To jump into action because a group of people unknown to us requests the removal of this 120 year old monument when the black community of Cornelius has seen it all their lives and never felt offended in any way as they understood its significance for a memorial to the community’s valiant young men who lost their lives in a terrible war. The tearing down of all monuments and wiping out history good or bad is dispicable to say the least. This movement is being led by Marxist antiva who want to destroy this country and spoiled young people who were taught nothing good or great about America by their left leaning educators but that they want a socialist country. It has gotten way out of hand. It is time people wake up to this evil before it is too late! The only racism right now is against our men in blue and white people. Black people will admit up front they have been given every opportunity for jobs, school & college education, businesses, etc. This is not being promoted by our black communities, but by outsiders and trouble makers. For Mt.Zion to now make this move will definitely tear up the remaining of the church that was begun before the Marlowe’s arrived by Dr. Dye when half the church left and a few faithful older members hung on with hope. That is now gone. The liberalism of what is now the Methodist church is no longer my church. At 80 years of age I have seen a lot, but this is a very sad day for me and Mt. Zion UMC. I can find my God elsewhere.

    Posted by Phyllis B. Deaton | July 3, 2020, 2:47 pm
    • Phyllis, maybe you should try talking to some of the black community in Cornelius and ask if they are offended instead of speaking for them. Members of Unity in Community make up members of the black community in Cornelius. Clearly, they disagree with you.

      Posted by Bob | July 4, 2020, 12:00 am
    • Phyllis,
      With whom have you spoke to in the black community? I imagine a number of black people, since you are speaking for them.

      Posted by DC | July 4, 2020, 11:48 pm
  8. If taking down statues is ‘removing history’ then maybe we should just replace the statue with one of a Union soldier or general. That should appease both sides unless its not really about history and more about honoring the Confederacy, a treasonous movement against the United States.

    Posted by Patriot | July 3, 2020, 3:31 pm
  9. Thank you to the church leadership. We are new members of the Cornelius community and are glad that you are taking this seriously. The most impactful quote I’ve heard about this is that there are no monuments to Nazis in Germany.

    Posted by Sophia | July 3, 2020, 10:44 pm
  10. Join Unity in Community in a peaceful protest to urge the Mt. Zion Monumental Association to take down the monument.

    Tuesday, July 14th, 6:00pm
    (Rain Date — Thursday, July 16th)

    Gather at the Confederate Monument or drive by and honk twice to show your support.

    Posted by sue rankin-white | July 4, 2020, 8:26 pm
  11. The current pastors and church board are only brief custodians/stewards of the church and its business. They have no business making decisions for this moment based on new and possibly fleeting sentiments that my well change in the future. They especially have no business in telling the true owners and custodians of the monument itself what to do with their charge. The church is being self-righteous. It is their actions that are divisive, not the monument which has stood for so many years. The church would better serve “justice” and Christianity by helping those blindly opposed to the statue understand why it means so much to others.

    Posted by Ronald N Walker | July 5, 2020, 8:36 pm
  12. No, No No the Statue must not not be removed. An it is not up to the Pastor to say it will be removed. It is up to the Church members themselves to decide on this, it is their Community. Our History is very, very important and we must keep it so that “out of sight, out of mind” we don’t repeat History. THINK, THINK, AMERICA we are approaching that right now. Believe me, the Liberal Progressive Socialist?Communist Party are destroying our GREAT JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CAPITALIST REPUBLIC.

    Posted by Richard Waters | August 11, 2020, 12:35 pm

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