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"It has been a long time coming," said Kennedy, who learned of the ruling this week. "We knew we had done everything right. ... The court knows that we have suffered."
Kennedy said his congregation's numbers have decreased in recent years as some of its 200 members became fearful of reprisals from Klan members. Nazi and Confederate symbols have been tacked to the door of the double-wide mobile home where New Beginnings now meets, Kennedy said, and dead animals have been left at the building. "A lot of people became so afraid," Kennedy said. "I just told them that it is part of our faith to endure."