Georgetown church starts petition to remove Confederate statue on town square

Reverend Mark Skrabacz with the San Gabriel Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Georgetown says the Confederate soldier memorial on the Georgetown square needs to go.

Skrabacz says his church believes in "social gospel."

"I guess you'd say we're a very progressive denomination," Skrabacz said.

Skrabacz says he recently spoke with an African American friend who told him every time she walks by the statue she wonders if she'll get justice in the county.

"The thing that got me the most is that this monument that honors the Confederacy is on the lawn in the courthouse square of the symbol of justice in our county," he said.

The church has started a change.org petition encouraging the county to relocate the statue.  They've gotten more than 100 signatures so far.

One of the spots in town the church would like to see the statue moved to is the International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery because of all the Confederate soldiers buried there.

Another option the church pointed to is the Williamson Museum, also on the square. 

Executive Director Mickey Ross says money was raised from all over the county for the statue back in the early 1900's.  She says it was never meant to promote racism, slavery or the Confederacy but to honor Confederate veterans who played a major role in the development of the county.

She also says the statue won't fit in the museum.

"And it's true...it was erected by the public in 1916.  But I'm wondering if it still symbolizes who we stand for today," Skrabacz said.

We spoke with many on the square who don't want the statue to go anywhere, like Kathy Panarelly.

"It's history, it's part of the courthouse and I would love to see it stay," she said.

Whether or not the statue gets relocated, Reverend Skrabacz says he's hoping this will get people talking.

"My bigger motivation is that Georgetown and Williamson County become...a compassionate community.  A place where we're communicating with one another regardless of our politics and regardless of our economics," he said.

Skrabacz along with another church member who started the petition met with County Judge Dan Gattis today who had no comment other than he has met with the church leaders and heard their concerns.

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