Anderson County citizens unveil 'In God We Trust' sign

Anderson County citizens unveil 'In God We Trust' sign on courthouse door

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Anderson County resident Lynn Byrge unveils the first plaque during the ceremony. Anderson County resident Lynn Byrge unveils the first plaque during the ceremony.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

CLINTON (WATE) - After months of planning and much debate, the words "In God We Trust" now hang on the Anderson County Courthouse.

An unveiling ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the courthouse in downtown Clinton.

It was a proud moment for those who helped make it happen, like longtime Anderson County resident Charles Bivens.

"Thanks be to God it's up there," said Bivens.

Bivens was one of many volunteers who helped raise some of the money needed to hang the four signs.

Only one sign was hung before Tuesday's ceremony because of problems drilling into the courthouse walls.

Bivens says the sign is a reflection of the county.

"A lot of people like to just say 'In God We Trust,' but I believe this county means what we're saying," said Bivens.

None of the critics who opposed the signs appeared to be present, but supporters had a message for those who claimed the plaques highlight a single religion.

"If it said 'In Jesus We Trust' then someone would have a legitimate complaint that we were showing religious bias against some religion," said Myra Mansfield, of Oak Ridge. "But it says 'In God We Trust' and that is inclusive of all religions."

Supporters like Bivens believe the signs are exactly what is needed for the county and country to continue to prosper.

"We need God in it," said Bivens. "We need a God thing. If we don't have a God thing we're going backwards. Amen."

Workers expect to have the three remaining signs hung over each entrance of the courthouse before the end of the week.

Anderson County officials say no tax dollars were used to put up the plaques. The costs, which totaled $4,812, were paid through donations from the community.

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