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Presbyterian Church raising money to move Confederate statue

A statue of Confederate Capt. Robert E. Logan, which stands above West Main Street on property belonging to the Presbyterian Church, will be moved once the church raises enough funds to complete the project.

The Rev. Caroline Kelly said they are estimating the total cost for moving the 120-year-old statue to be $55,000. “To date, we have raised about $23,000.”

She added, “We would like to move it as soon as we can, but there are a lot of pieces that have to come together to make that happen.”

One of the pieces is that Danville must approve any application to place a monument in Belleview Cemetery, Kelly explained. And, “Because of the size of this monument, we have conducted a geotechnical survey of the proposed site (which the church will purchase near the Confederate section of the cemetery) and provided a foundation design for their approval,” she said.

“We have been accepting contributions for some time, but only recently have been able to provide a good estimate of the total cost, and therefore, a goal for a more active phase of fundraising,” Kelly said.

Anyone who is interested in contributing to the cost of the relocation can send a check to The Presbyterian Church of Danville at 500 W. Main Street, Danville, KY 40422 or contribute on-line at presbydan.org/giving, making sure to designate the contribution for “Monument Relocation.” We would welcome contributions from anyone who would like to support this effort.

Kelly said the church hasn’t received complaints directly about the statue of Confederate Capt. Logan. “But we have had more inquiries from folk in the community recently about the status of the relocation and whether they can help us with the cost.”

In a letter to the congregation from Kelly on behalf of the church council, she wrote, “We believe that removing the monument will clarify our witness to the gospel mandate to love all our neighbors. In accordance with the Biblical witness, and as reflected in the Belhar Confession, our decision is intended to demonstrate that we reject the separation of people on a racial basis, either through slavery or the segregation system that was being built up at the time the monument was installed.”

When the church announced its plans to move the statue in October, its news release stated, “It is our belief and hope that our church and our community want to be welcoming to all people, and that the current location of the monument on the church’s property is contrary to our purposes as citizens and Christians.”

It also stated that the current location on church property was “a compromise location that is no longer appropriate, as this land is now private property.”

According to the release, The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans groups that erected the statue in 1910 originally wanted it in Bellevue Cemetery. At that time, McDowell Park was owned by the city of Danville, and it became the compromise location for the statue. But the property was deeded back to the church in 1993, according to the release.

Kelly participated in the first of two demonstrations held at Constitution Square in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in June.

“I was impressed at the number of folks that showed up – especially young people and white people, including some members of our congregation,” Kelly said. “Our governing body hasn’t issued a formal statement regarding the BLM movement, but I think the effort to relocate the monument clearly demonstrates our affirmation that black lives matter to God and black lives matter to us.”

She added, “We hope people will see it as an affirmation that the presence of a Confederate monument on our property is fundamentally incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ and as a demonstration of our commitment to love our neighbors as ourselves.”