Cross to be removed from business corner

Published 10:50 am Friday, June 23, 2017

A cross that had been posted near a local service station since spring is scheduled to be taken down today or by sometime this weekend.

This past spring, James Bowen put up this cross near the Exxon service station on Armory Drive, but has been asked to take it down. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

James Bowen of Clay Street told the newspaper on Thursday morning that he got a call from the Exxon to remove the cross from its place at a corner on the property. He said the business had received a complaint about the cross.

More specifically, the Franklin Police Department spokesman Capt. Tim Whitt confirmed via email that on June 15, “the police department received an anonymous complaint about the cross being ‘creepy’ and ‘offensive’ because it said that ‘God’s Not Dead.’”

He added that the decision was made by management and that the police department “had nothing to do with that decision.”

A member of Franklin Church of God, Bowen said he had asked in late April or early May to place the cross at the site, which was reportedly OK, and that up until recently no one had ever complained. He added that in addition to an American flag he had attached, people would sometimes place flowers at the sit.

“It wasn’t hurting nobody,” said Bowen, adding that he wanted the cross to inspire and serve as a “testimony.” Nonetheless, Bowen will remove the cross.

He’ll consider asking around for permission to place it another site.