News 12 at 11 O'clock / Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014
GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW) -- Each bulb is part of a message with 19,000 of them working together on a Fellowship Baptist sign to spread it.
"Ours is just to get the message of Christ out," said Sonny Serigney, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Grovetown.
It's a sign illegally in place, but the pastor can't help but fight for what he believes in.
"You want me to be honest, because I wanted to honor my lord," he said.
It started a last month after the city denied Serigney's request to put it up. In the city ordinance, it states no LED signs no larger than 16 square feet.
"The city uses its technology, I can't see why we should not be allowed to use the same technology that they use," he said.
After weeks of back and forth, the pastor decided it was time. He took down the old one and began installing the new large LED sign.
"The mayor had asked us to stop putting the sign up," said the pastor.
City workers then a cease and desist notice that stated there wasn't a building permit and it did not meet code compliance.
Grovetown Mayor, George James the third, wouldn't go on camera but tells News 12, if the pastor doesn't take the sign down, it could end in a lawsuit.
Serigney responded saying, "We still have the freedom and the right to proclaim the good news of God, and that's all I want with this sign."
It's a sign seen by thousands of drivers every day that he says could help the community in great ways. He said letting drivers know about the church's food pantry is another reason to keep the sign up.
If forced to take the sign down, it would leave Serigney and his messages in the dark.
"I don't think they should be allowed to tell me what I can put up on church property," he said.