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County to place 'In God We Trust' on courthouses

The county will add the U.S. motto 'In God We Trust' at the top of the Historic Courthouse. The county will add the U.S. motto 'In God We Trust' at the top of the Historic Courthouse.

“In God We Trust,” the U.S. motto, will be prominently displayed on the front of Henderson County’s two courthouses, the county Board of Commissioners decided today.


Responding to an offer made last month by Rick Lanier, a former Davidson County commissioner who cofounded the U.S. Motto Action Committee, the commissioners endorsed the placing of the phrase on both buildings. On the Historic Courthouse, “In God We Trust” will be added in 10-inch high letters in the brick triangle above the words Henderson County. On the Grove Street Courthouse, a rendering shows the phrase in 5-inch high letters above the main double doors. That entrance is not currently being used by the public but after a security upgrade and renovation.
Lanier, in his presentation on Aug. 3, showed the commissioners renderings of the phrase on the wall of the assembly room behind the commissioners and on the back wall of the room, which was the courtroom of the 1905 building.
Commissioner Grady Hawkins said some of the interior ideas were complicated.
“Conversely, on the Historic Courthouse, I think it would look great in that location as you come into the Historic Courthouse,” he said.
Commissioner Bill Lapsley agreed.
“From my perspective, this statement implies feeling of the citizens of the county at large and having it in this room really limits it,” he said. “I think it’s important that it be on the front of this building and also on the front of the ‘95 Courthouse. I don’t think we should do something in this room at the expense of not doing something on the outside of the building.”
Lanier told the commissioners Henderson County won’t have to pay for the work.
“This foundation was going to finance this,” Hawkins said, recalling Lanier’s pledge. “Whatever we end up doing they were doing to pay for it.”

The board delayed acting on where to post the motto in the assembly room. The space behind the commissioners is usually covered with a screen for slide displays. It was possible to post the motto on either side of the screen or on the back wall, County Manager Steve Wyatt said.

Assistant County Manager Amy Brantley said she would contact the U.S. Motto committee to get the project started.