Coal County Dedicates Monument

11-9-06 - Coal County dedicated a black marble monument of the Ten Commandments on Thursday afternoon. The project came about thanks to a private organization raising $7,000 in donations.

A local businessman owns the land where the commandments stand next to the courthouse. The Coalgate Ministerial Alliance, a group of pastors, will maintain the black marble piece.

“What we wanted to do was make a spiritual statement and not a political statement," Minister David Unsell said.

County officials say there hasn't been any controversy or opposition to the project since the commandments sit on private property.

"We've done it with private funds and donated labor,” added County Commissioner Johnny Ward. He said “We didn't have any public input other than that I'm a public official, but I'm a God-fearing public official."

The city of Coalgate is officially dedicating the monument December 2nd with a festival.

Atoka County added a similar monument this past August.