The hamlet of Hawkins in northeastern Texas has long origins that go back to the Judeo-Christian foundation of America. The town built a billboard that reads, “Jesus Welcomes You to Hawkins,” which has greeted travelers on Highway 80 since 2015. The sign serves as a representation of the community’s ideals. For several years, the sign didn’t cause any issues, but lately the city council objected to it and ordered the Jesus Christ Open Altar Church to take it down.
The congregation was forced to alternately keep watch on the sign after the city ordered the exhibit to be taken down when the church refused. However, they never anticipated that the city would send out government agents to break into the church’s property late at night and steal its banner.
According to Hawkins City Secretary Dona Jordan, the city council insisted that the sign was their property, dismissing the community’s fury over its removal, as reported by the Longview News-Journal. The congregation, however, is outraged that the city would descend to such low standards and asserts that the land genuinely belongs to the church.
The city disregarded their protests because they thought the church would eventually accept their predicament. According to church trustee Mark McDonald, the church has publicly declared that it is suing the council for religious discrimination after realizing that its employees were no longer advocating for its members. The church is accusing the council of committing an anti-Christian hate crime.
The property belonging to our church was destroyed, along with our crosses and everything else, according to McDonald. Police, according to him, informed him of the action. “We’re treating it like a hate crime with religious prejudice that the city colluded to commit. McDonald stated, “We have sufficient documentation to support it. “Our counsel advised the city (Thursday) not to interfere with it or touch it. There have been secret meetings, sealed documents, and several errors.
Even though the city frequently disregarded legal counsel from lawyers to challenge the church’s purported ownership of the land, they’re undoubtedly paying attention now. McDonald asserts that the city is being investigated for a number of legal infractions and will be required to defend itself in court.
McDonald stated, “I’ve got eight open records violations charged against the city. “They were fully aware that what they were doing was illegal,”
More than ever, the majority of Christians are finding themselves targeted. Legislation that is unconstitutional compels churches to reject their biblical convictions. Small towns and tightly connected communities have typically proven to be powerful forces against the tyranny of overreaching government. However, some people are discovering that their only option is to use fire to fight fire.
The city claimed that it has had an easement on the property since 1909, despite the fact that residents have no issue with the sign. Chief of Police Manfred Gilow claims that the sign just lately became a safety threat as cars reportedly need “90-degree access to the roadway.” The church, however, argues that the city gave up interest in the land in 1994, negating its right to the title.
The neighborhood is still divided until the city and church square off in court. The proposed turn, which will pass through the property, is now being built by the city. The church isn’t going down without a fight, though. Only time will tell if the court will support the irate congregation or the snobbish city council.