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Fight Continues For Pittsylvania Co. Board Of Supervisors


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Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: R.J. Burnette

Chatham, VA - Members of the community are getting involved in the debate over whether the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors should say a Christian prayer at each of their meetings.

The Virginia ACLU sent the board a letter Monday asking them to stop praying at their meetings.

That has led a popular pastor in the community to organize an event in support of the board's continued defiance of the warning the ACLU.

At their meeting on Tuesday, the board held their prayer as they always do, a move that wound up rallying major support.

Pastor and radio personality Robert Barber has organized a rally at September 6th's Board of Supervisor's meeting in support of the board.

"I'm fighting for the cause of God. I'm as sure that I'm right as I'm breathing," said Barber.

Tim Barber, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

"I've even had non believers, non Christians, they're taking it as a freedom issue - I've had calls from several people like that. A Vietnam Veteran called me last night and said he's spilled his blood for this country and he thinks his rights are being taken away," said Barber.

Barber said as long as the fight continues and supporters rally, he will continue to have the board pray before each meeting.

But The Rutherford Institute, a non-profit legal organization, warned the board that what they're doing is dangerous.

"The best lawyer in Virginia probably would not defend this case because he knows he's going to lose. They'll have to go through the fourth circuit court of appeals, which has now ruled twice in the last several years that these are unconstitutional," said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.

While the ACLU has not threatened to press charges, the chairman said he has received offers from local lawyers to provide free legal services, eliminating any cost to tax payers.

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The Reverend hopes his rally will have a huge turnout.

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