- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Commissioners in a western Michigan county voted Tuesday to reinstall a park sign that quotes the Bible.

The sign from the 1960s carries an excerpt from Psalm 19 declaring the glory of God. It was removed last year from Hager Park in Ottawa County’s Georgetown Township after complaints that public property was being used to promote religion.

In a 9-2 vote, county commissioners said the sign will return in one form or another. It will be accompanied by another sign that says county government isn’t endorsing the views of the late Titus Hager, who donated the land, by displaying the Bible verse.

Hager’s family is willing to put the sign elsewhere to end the controversy. If that happens, commissioners have directed the county to erect something similar.

“The generosity of Titus Hager, a noteworthy citizen of Ottawa County, is an important part of our community’s rich history and worth celebrating in perpetuity,” commissioners said.

The sign has been in the 104-acre park for decades, apparently at Hager’s request. Ottawa County, along Lake Michigan, is a culturally conservative area with many churches.

The county received dozens of letters from people who wanted the sign returned to the park. Parks director John Scholtz, however, defended the removal in a Dec. 22 response, the Holland Sentinel reported.

“We asked ourselves if the sign was one that we would install today and the answer was no,” Scholtz said, referring to his staff.


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