Friday, February 17, 2006

Church Harassed in Virginia

After fighting the rezoning petition of Holy Temple Ministries of Chesapeake, a mostly African-American church, some neighbors started complaining church services were too loud.

The Virginian Pilot reports police officers regularly disrupt Bible study and worship services, "sometimes threatening," although "Capt. Doug Draper of the Chesapeake Police Department...dispute[s] the claim that officers [are] at every service" as church leaders claim.

Howling Latina talked with Trena Brinkley of Holy Temple and learned neighbor complaints began about six months after the church opened.

"We changed the sound level," she told me. "We don't know what else we can do." The Pilot notes the church is currently "working on sound proofing the building."

It seems to me when the city issued the zoning change after hearing neighborhood concerns, short of a ruckus, the matter should be closed. Unfortunately, each time an officer receives a complaint about "loud noise," whether valid or not, they have to respond.

This past Sunday, The Pilot reports, officers "gave a summons to the chairman of the church deacons" to answer charges in Court.

In the meantime, Chesapeake taxpayers foot the bill for this neighborhood spat that appears to be growing in measure and volume, and yes, please pardon the pun.

“I can’t tell you why they feel they’re being harassed,” The Pilot quotes Draper as saying. “I have to represent the church’s interest and the victim’s interest with the same passion.”

However, Brinkley called attention to HL that Oscar Smith High School is only a few blocks away and according to her, they make a lot more noise than the church but no one calls the cops.

"You can hear the band during games," Brinkley points out. "Music is a part of" church service...maybe people complaining don't have any idea about church."

Holy Temple Ministries is on Great Bridge Boulevard and opened for worship services one year and two months ago. It is in the fifth precinct in the city of Cheseapeake.

Comments:
If the universe did start with a bang - when God loved and the angels sang - one of the sparks that flew - chased time to become you :) xaNax
 
If the universe did start with a bang - when God loved and the angels sang - one of the sparks that flew - chased time to become you :) xaNax
 
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