Sabine Co. Ten Commandments sign generating buzz in Texas, Louis - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Sabine Co. Ten Commandments sign generating buzz in Texas, Louisiana

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Pictured is the new billboard that has been erected near Jeanette Golden's property. (KTRE Staff) Pictured is the new billboard that has been erected near Jeanette Golden's property. (KTRE Staff)
one of the comments under the initial story about Jeanette Golden's Ten Commandments sign (KTRE Staff) one of the comments under the initial story about Jeanette Golden's Ten Commandments sign (KTRE Staff)
Ten Commandments sign on Jeanette Golden's property (KTRE Staff) Ten Commandments sign on Jeanette Golden's property (KTRE Staff)
SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

An East Texas news story is generating a lot of discussion in the week leading up to Easter.

It concerns the "Ten Commandments" sign a Sabine County woman erected on her own property and the ongoing debate with the state to keep it there.

East Texas News first posted the story on Sunday. On Tuesday, we followed up by asking Jeanette Golden to describe what started happening minutes after the original story aired.

"And not only has my phone been ringing off the hook, but people would see me in the community and say, you, know, ‘Don't let that sign go down," Golden said.

That has been pretty much Golden's life since Sunday night.

"I'm a godly woman," Golden said. "When he put KTRE on my mind, I knew exactly what it was about, but did I know the magnification of it? No, I had no clue."

The initial Web story generated hundreds of Facebook likes and shares in both Texas and Louisiana. The majority of the comments do not like the Texas Department of Transportation telling Golden to remove the sign if she doesn't pay permitting fees.

"‘We are 110 percent behind you. Do not take that sign down,'" Golden said, reading some of the comments out loud. "‘The whole community will back you.' And another one said that he called the governor's office to voice his opinion." 

Golden's supporters fall in line with what Center First United Methodist Church pastor, Joel McMahon, and his wife, Sharon, had to say about the situation. 

"There's no other reason other than just the Christian faith is being suppressed," Joel McMahon said. "I don't know what law they're talking about, but obviously they think it supersedes the First Amendment."

It's the Highway Beautification Act, a law tied to federal funding and designed to control advertising. However, Golden said she isn't advertising.

"I wasn't advertising because that's my freedom of religion, and that's what I believe, and I was not informing anybody," Golden said. "It was just something that I stood for."

The man who suggested the sign thinks the state's objection may in fact be a good thing.

"Because what they have done and brought attention," said Jerry Korok, a Word of Truth Family Church member. "I know there is a billboard in the works, and I'm certain there's a second one in the works. I hope we are going to have three, four, five."

On Monday, the billboard space was rented. It's not far from Golden's sign on Highway 21 near the state line. Gods10.com, the non-profit that supplies the faith-based banners, is plainly visible.

It's the same logo Golden painted over to make her sign as a non-advertisement. The hassles aren't scaring supporters.

Numerous people living in other cities are asking how to obtain the banners.

Golden said the local printing company is making Ten Commandment T-shirts and yard signs.

Also a bank account at First State Bank in Hemphill has been set up for donations to support the paid billboard. 

On Friday, Golden and her husband will travel to Dallas to meet with a Gods10.com representative to discuss the issue. The organization is in Texas for a Dallas rally.

Meanwhile, TxDOT stated, "We will continue to work with Mrs. Golden to bring her sign into compliance with federal mandates."

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