Grand Rapids Removes Cross Display That Began 4 Decades Ago

Pastor Van Covington re-visits the downtown intersection where 40 years ago, he planted a cross. The display, which grew to include three crosses over the years, was removed by the city at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union. Photo: MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP/MLive) – Grand Rapids has removed a display of crosses on public property after the American Civil Liberties Union contacted the city.

Pastor Van Covington, who helped start the display four decades ago, discovered the crosses were gone a few weeks ago when he went to pray at the site. According to our media partners at MLive, the display ended Jan. 27, when city workers snapped the crosses off at their bases.

In 1975, Covington took a first cross down after city officials told him it couldn’t remain. He put up another the following year and added two more crosses when the city didn’t ask him to take it down. The ACLU, however, contacted the city attorney’s office Jan. 20.

ACLU lawyer Miriam Aukerman says the ACLU received a complaint about the crosses.

More from MLive: After 40 years, city removes downtown crosses at ACLU’s request

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