Grovetown church denied LED sign

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News 12 at 11 O'clock / Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grovetown, Ga. (WRDW) -- The message is Crystal clear. Between the praise and worship here at Fellowship Baptist Church, there's anticipation, they're waiting for a sign.

"We had ordered the sign, we were just waiting for it to be delivered," said Reverend Sonny Serigney.

But before the lights could shine, they were dimmed almost immediately. The reverend's messages, put on hold possibly for good.

"We were told basically that we couldn't get the sign, because they had in the city, passed an ordinance," he said.

That ordnance is lit up with restrictions on signage. A maximum of 60 inches wide, and absolutely no LED signs. Two things, the new church sign would have.

"The sign that we had, have right now, would've cost us a lot of money to get repairs," said Serigney.

They want an upgrade and new technology. After all, they're in the heart of growth in Grovetown.

"When you have the influx of people, you want to look like a modern city," he said.

But city leaders say not too modern.

"They didn't want the city of Grovetown to look like 'Las Vegas'," said Rev. Serigney.

The reverend submitted a variance request to City planner, Frank Neal, basically asking him to allow the sign, but Neal says it could set a "precedent".

"Signs have been grandfathered in, and anything new coming in is not allowed," said Neal.

It's 15,000 dollars the church spent, that's now tied up.

"The sign is paid for, it's ready to be delivered as we speak," said the reverend.

And as Serigney speaks to his congregation, he knows he could be reaching many more.

"The more that we can get the message out, then the more that we could serve the community," he said.