(AP) A North Carolina church is calling for removal of a century-old Confederate statue from the lawn in front of its sanctuary.
The statue outside Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius was built in 1909 and is still owned and maintained by the Mount Zion Monument Association, which was formed by descendants of Confederate veterans, The Charlotte Observer reported Friday.
The church’s administrative board said in a statement on Thursday that the statue “is perceived by many as offensive” and urged the association to remove it immediately.
“We truly love and welcome all people … For many people, the outward appearance that they see does not match the inward reality that we know,” administrative board members said.
Pastors Jonathan and Angela Marlowe have said the church owns neither the memorial or the land it sits on.
In a statement to the newspaper in June, Mount Zion Monument Association chairman Donald Archer said the association was reviewing what to do with the monument. Archer did not reply to a request for additional comment.