City shutting down historic church because neighbors don't like it

A church founded by former slaves, back in 1884, has endured flash floods, the destruction of its building in a storm, the loss of another building in a fire, a trip through receivership and much, much more.

But it’s being prevented from holding its worship services and functioning as a ministry right now because its neighbors don’t like it.

That’s according to a report from First Liberty Institute, which recently sent a demand letter to the city of Addison, Texas, insisting that needed permits for improvements at the building be issued.

Get the hottest, most important news stories on the Internet – delivered FREE to your inbox as soon as they break! Take just 30 seconds and sign up for WND’s Email News Alerts!

The congregation is the White Rock Chapel, which is designated a historic site by the Texas Historical Commission.

“It’s a shame that some residents in the neighborhood are opposing the church’s right to exist and aim to banish this historic landmark that symbolizes the freedoms granted to all Americans,” explained Ryan Gardner, First Liberty lawyer. “The city should ignore the heckling of a handful of neighbors and allow this small, African American church to exemplify the core values of unity, diversity, and religious freedom that strengthen all communities.”

The original was on the banks of White Rock Creek after emancipation. It was moved to higher ground after years of flash floods.

“In August 2018, the current owners of White Rock Chapel purchased the property and brought it out of receivership. By doing so, they saved this historic church from demolition and preserved its rich history and legacy. They then sought building permits to restore the property,” the institute said.

But the city council denied the permits even after they were advanced by the city’s planning and zoning commission.

“The city’s denial deprives a historic church—founded almost 150 years ago by formerly enslaved men and women—of its right to religious exercise. More specifically, the city prevents the church from making essential improvements so that it can continue to exist as a place of worship. A small but influential group of opponents have fought—thus far successfully—to stop the church from doing so. But the law is clear. Opposition by a few, no matter how hostile or influential they are, cannot override the church’s right of religious exercise,” the letter said.

Facing the need for improvements or repairs, the church asked the city for permits to do those projects, and as part of the process, comments from neighbors were solicited.

“A fierce and organized neighborhood resistance developed against the chapel,” the report said, and the city took action by “bowing to that pressure.”

Despite multiple concessions on the part of the church, some critics refused to cooperate, leading to a rejection of the permits by the city council even though the Planning and Zoning Commission has approved them.

The institute blamed the actions on the “unrelenting opposition from neighbors.”

But rejecting the church’s requests to facilitate its worship “violates the protected rights of White Rock Chapel” under the First Amendment, RLIUPA and others laws, the legal team explained.

“Because the Council denied White Rock Chapel’s Permit, it barred any possibility for White Rock Chapel to function and exist. Such a deliberate prohibition is in direct violation of state and federal law and constitutionally protected freedoms. The Council must immediately approve of a Permit that will allow White Rock Chapel to engage in religious and educational activities. Should the Council nevertheless persist in its denial of White Rock Chapel’s right to religious exercises, it will pursue all available legal options, not limited to the principles articulated herein,” the letter said.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO WND READERS: Believe it or not, today’s high priests of climate-change apocalypse are correct in predicting that in just a few short years, the earth will become miserable, wretched and almost uninhabitable by human beings. But the grim future they envision won’t come about because of “catastrophic climate change,” but rather, because of the implementation of their completely insane and truly catastrophic agenda.

As Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore recently admitted, “If they actually achieve Net Zero, at least 50% of the population would die of hunger and disease.” Likewise, writes energy expert and author Alex Epstein: “Today’s proposed policies to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use would, if fully implemented, have truly apocalyptic consequences – making the world an impoverished, dangerous, and miserable place for most people.”

Question: When the scientific case for global warming apocalypse consists primarily of a 1-degree Celsius rise in temperature over more than 130 years, what explains the obsession with an imminent, climate-caused end of the world?

Although many groups have been drawn into the Climate Change Cult – from the news media (which has warned of climate catastrophe, either global warming or a “new ice age,” for over a century!), to innocent school kids indoctrinated by hysterical leftist teachers, to liberal Democrats who claim “climate change” will destroy the earth in a few years – the REAL villains are the national and global elites who KNOW the apocalyptic global warming religion is just a cruel hoax, but promote and exploit it as a means of accomplishing their ultimate goal: Transforming and ruling the world.

The heart and soul of today’s bizarre, pagan climate-change religion, and the global elites’ strategies for using it to rule all of mankind, is powerfully exposed and illuminated in the September issue of WND’s critically acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, an issue titled “CULT OF THE CLIMATE APOCALYPSE: The elites’ breathtaking strategy for ruling the world.” WHISTLEBLOWER is available in both the popular print edition and a state-of-the-art digital version, either single issues or discounted annual subscriptions.

For 25 years, WND has boldly brought you the news that really matters. If you appreciate our Christian journalists and their uniquely truthful reporting and analysis, please help us by becoming a WND Insider!

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].


Get the hottest, most important news stories on the Internet – delivered FREE to your inbox as soon as they break! Take just 30 seconds and sign up for WND’s Email News Alerts!


This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

Related Posts