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Exclamation Worshippers beware: Government cracking down on Churches - 03-28-2008, 05:03 AM

It's so obvious that the government wants to shut down churches. Here they are storming a church on Easter Sunday because the music was too loud. Do you think they will ever storm into your neighbor's house because they blast the Mexican music too loud all day long? NEVER!

Quote:
Shout to the Lord ... but not too loud
Deborah Lowers


03/25/2008

Police called when volume at Fairport Harbor church is too high at Easter service


Paula Holmes said she was worshipping in her Fairport Harbor church Easter Sunday morning when police entered the church doors. "Police came to the door during services saying the music was too loud," said Holmes, a Painesville resident. "It hurt my heart; I felt the dagger."

The Inspirational House of Prayer is located at 301 New St. in Fairport Harbor. Police confirmed there was an anonymous complaint made about the church on Sunday and an officer responded to check it out. "Somebody called anonymously to our dispatcher and said the music was too loud," a police spokesman said. "Our officer could hear it about 100 feet away from the building. He could hear the band playing."

He said the officer went into the church and talked to some people who were standing in the back and asked them to turn it down.

Calls to the church were not answered Monday afternoon, but Holmes said she feels the multicultural Pentecostal congregation is not wanted in the village. She said residents who live near the church park their own cars in front of their homes so church members cannot. The church has no parking lot of its own, and the 150 congregants have to park on the street.

"The pastor said never in his life did he have something like that happen," she said, noting it was Easter Sunday.

The police spokesman said there have been complaints in the past and police have responded to them as well.

"It's an old wooden building with older windows," he said, adding that it's not very soundproof. Holmes said between the noise complaints and the parking, she feels there is another message being sent. "I've never seen anything as ugly as this before," she said. "This is racism. As I see it, there are only five white people that go to that church. I felt their pain yesterday. I literally broke down and cried." She said she was homeless when that church took her in and changed her life. "Now I have a home and a life and a beautiful church ... and this being Easter Sunday of all days. (The complaint) was our choir singing live," she said. "Something has to be done. These are beautiful people struggling month to month to keep the electric going. These people would take off their shirts for anybody. They will feed you and clothe you. They've helped the community, period. It floors me some people could be so cruel."

Fairport Harbor Mayor Frank J. Sarosy said it is mostly one neighbor who complains, but others have, too. He said the village has no issues with the church whatsoever, but they are required to follow noise ordinances just like everyone else. "Our first responsibility is to our residents," he said. "We just ask that (church members) show dignity and respect to the neighbors."
In Fairport Harbor, the village's noise ordinance suggests that any noise that crosses a resident's property boundary and affects someone's life could be considered a violation, the police spokesman said. The department will issue several warnings before any citations are handed out. Once a party receives its first citation, it is considered a minor misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $100 fine, the spokesman said. If more complaints arise, the party could face a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and/or a $250 fine.

The mayor said he has gotten calls at home from residents in the area on numerous occasions, saying the music from the church is extremely loud at times. "We don't mind the church," Sarosy said. "But when a neighbor makes a complaint, you should see what you can do to work with them, not make them miserable."


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Default Re: Worshippers beware: Government cracking down on Churches - 03-28-2008, 05:34 AM

Brother, this persecution is worse than I thought! Even Baptist churches are being targeted!!

Quote:
Police Repeatedly Raid Church to Stop 'Praise and Worship' Music

ANN ARBOR, MI — Without a warrant or other legal authorization, uniformed police officers conducted several raids on Faith Baptist Church in Waterford Township, Michigan, and threatened to prosecute several young Christian musicians for disorderly conduct – because the Township prosecutor objected to the playing of contemporary religious music. “Praise and worship” music is a central part of Faith Baptist’s religious services.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the Waterford Township supervisor, prosecutor and two high ranking police officials. The lawsuit was prompted by the series of police incursions into the church and threats by the Township prosecutor to raid the church every time music was heard coming from it.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, observed, “Uniformed police officers entering a church during religious services and young church members being threatened with prosecution is something that happens in Communist China – not in America.”

Continued Thompson, “It is clear that Waterford Township authorities targeted Faith Baptist Church because of the type of religious music it uses in its services. Some of the individual police officers involved in the raids – apparently more sensitive to the constitutional protections surrounding religion than were their superiors – personally apologized afterwards.”

Faith Baptist Church, headed by Pastor Jim Combs, has a congregation of 10,000 members and conducts religious services on three different campuses. The police raids targeted the Waterford Township campus with 5,000 members.

Pastor Jim Combs first contacted the Thomas More Law Center in late October 2007, after the first in a series of police raids.

During a Wednesday night youth service, uniformed Township police, led by the Township prosecutor, burst into the Church’s sanctuary where the Church’s “Praise and Worship” band was warming up. The prosecutor ordered the officers to take the names and addresses of all the young people on stage so that they could be charged with “disorderly conduct.”

The very next Sunday, Waterford Township police again raided Faith Baptist, this time during the Pastor Comb’s evening sermon. Officers were about to disrupt the services and remove the “Praise and Worship” band members and order them to surrender their driver’s licenses for personal information. However, an Assistant Pastor volunteered to bring the members to the police so as not to create an uproar among the congregation.

The Township prosecutor was caught conducting personal surveillance on the Church from his parked car just days later.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that Waterford Township officials violated Faith Baptist Church’s and the band members’ rights to Free Exercise of religion, Free Speech and Freedom of Association under both the Michigan and the United States Constitutions, and that Waterford Township’s actions have chilled Plaintiffs’ ability to worship according to their religious beliefs. Plaintiffs are asking the court to permanently prohibit further police raids and for monetary damages.

Brandon Bolling, the Law Center attorney handling the case, stated, “The Township prosecutor was very explicit: he told the pastors that churches should not play ‘rock music,’ and threatened that each time he heard music coming from the church he would conduct a raid.”


Who Will Jesus Damn?

Here is a partial list from just a few scripture verses:

Hypocrites (Matthew 24:51), The Unforgiving (Mark 11:26), Homosexuals (Romans 1:26, 27), Fornicators (Romans 1:29), The Wicked (Romans 1:29), The Covetous (Romans 1:29), The Malicious (Romans 1:29), The Envious (Romans 1:29), Murderers (Romans 1:29), The Deceitful (Romans 1:29), Backbiters (Romans 1:30), Haters of God (Romans 1:30), The Despiteful (Romans 1:30), The Proud (Romans 1:30), Boasters (Romans 1:30), Inventors of evil (Romans 1:30), Disobedient to parents (Romans 1:30), Covenant breakers (Romans 1:31), The Unmerciful (Romans 1:31), The Implacable (Romans 1:31), The Unrighteous (1Corinthians 6:9), Idolaters (1Corinthians 6:9), Adulterers (1Corinthians 6:9), The Effeminate (1Corinthians 6:9), Thieves (1Corinthians 6:10), Drunkards (1Corinthians 6:10), Reviler (1Corinthians 6:10), Extortioners (1Corinthians 6:10), The Fearful (Revelation 21:8), The Unbelieving (Revelation 21:8), The Abominable (Revelation 21:8), Whoremongers (Revelation 21:8), Sorcerers (Revelation 21:8), All Liars (Revelation 21:8)

Need Pastoral Advice? Contact me privately at PastorEzekiel@landoverbaptist.net TODAY!!
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Default Re: Worshippers beware: Government cracking down on Churches - 03-28-2008, 06:25 AM

Worse than that, the church invaders are right here in Iowa:
Quote:
Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ohio Church Noise Bothers Neighbors


Ohio Church Noise Bothers Neighbors April 27, 2007 - 5:50pm

MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) - Is it worship? Or disturbing the peace?
Neighbors of Worshippers of Christ the Warrior King Church have petitioned the city, saying screams and sounds of glory and praise coming from the building are a nuisance. But church members contend they're being harassed because of how they worship.
"Sunday morning is God's day of worship," the Rev. Troy Sowell said. "I'm not going to tell this congregation, 'You're being too loud.'" Sowell says he's open to finding a solution but is not going to forfeit his right to worship God.


Police responded to noise complaints three consecutive days during a revival last year, after the congregation moved in. "They have a sound system over there that is very loud," said neighbor Reginald Winters. "I'm in my house with the door shut, and literally, my windows are vibrating in my house. ... This year, it's started right back up."
The church closed its doors and windows, but the complaints have continued, said Jerena Copeland, associate pastor.


Sowell said light bulbs have been stolen from the building and beer bottles have been wedged beneath the tires of members' vehicles. Church members recently met with Police Chief Robert Williams.


"I'm still hoping for an amicable, diplomatic solution," said Williams, an ordained minister and the son of a pastor.




"We're not going to whisper, but we're not going to blatantly disregard the law," he said. "It's not 'noise.' We're going to praise the Lord and worship. We're talking 50 members. We plan on filling it up. What are they going to do then?"

The nondenominational church conducts worship services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays, a Bible study and prayer meeting on Wednesdays, and chorus rehearsals on Fridays. Sunday morning is God's day of worship," Sowell said. "I'm not going to tell this congregation, 'You're being too loud.' "

Volume has been an ongoing problem since the congregation moved into the church in 2006, said Associate Pastor Jerena Copeland. She said that last year police came to the church three consecutive days during a revival in response to noise complaints. Copeland said the church closed its doors and windows, but the complaints have continued.

"Sunday was 75 degrees," Sowell said. "The neighbors' doors and windows were open; (from) some you could hear what they were watching on TV. With 50 members, we're one of the smallest churches, but yet we're the noisiest?"

Copeland said a member was threatened by a neighbor with a baseball bat last year for asking neighboring children to stop playing in the church's yard. Sowell claims that spouting has been pulled from the building, lightbulbs have been stolen, and beer bottles have been found wedged beneath the tires of members' vehicles.

Neighborhood resident Richard Laase, who signed the petition, said he welcomes the church in the neighborhood, but contends that sometimes the worshippers get too loud. Regarding last year's revival, Laase said, "I live half a block away; I thought there was a fight outside. There was screaming going on. I have no problem with their religion, but when you can hear it half a block way, you the need to close the windows. I've been a resident here 15 years. It was kind of disturbing to me, but if that's their belief, that's what they want to do, that's fine by me."

Copeland said Christ the Warrior King's effusive style of worship is "not disrespect, but glory to God." "I get excited about what Jesus has done for us," she said, adding that God healed her from a stroke. "I'm not ashamed of what Christ has done in my life. We've invited the neighbors. They've judged us before they knew anything about us."

AMICABLE SOLUTION

Church members recently met with the city's police chief, Robert Williams. "I'm still hoping for an amicable, diplomatic solution," said Williams, an ordained minister and the son of a pastor. Williams said one problem is, unlike newer buildings, the church, which was built in 1954, does not have a "buffer" such as a large parking lot separating it from the surrounding houses. It previously was occupied by a wedding chapel, and the Souls Harbor Baptist Church. Williams said he didn't know how many times officers have been to the church, but that following up citizen complaints is standard police procedure.

The problem appears to be unique.

Nisha Mohammed, a spokeswoman for the Rutherford Institute, a religious-freedom advocacy group in Washington, D.C., said the issue has not been one the agency's encountered. "Most of the cases we've dealt with have been zoning issues, such as parking lots, or church expansion," she said. "To my knowledge, we haven't come across such a case."

is it a race issue?

Church administrative assistant Gerald Woods argues that the city's noise ordinance is violated every time a canon is set off to celebrate a touchdown made by the Washington High School football team inside Paul Brown Stadium. "It's a predominately white neighborhood. We're a predominately black church. That's the problem," he said.

Laase takes issue with such a characterization. "No one's trying to pick on them because of their race, creed or color," he said. "It's not a racist neighborhood. We have a mix of people here."

"It is not a race issue," said Reginald Winters, who lives across the street from the church. "It's not the way they worship. It is simply respect. They have a sound system over there that is very loud. I'm in my house with the door shut, and literally, my windows are vibrating in my house. ... This year, it's started right back up."

Winters said he recently spoke with another associate pastor, the Rev. Eugene Copeland - Jerena's husband - about the issue. "He's a very nice guy," Winters said. "I explained to him, 'I'm an African-American myself; this is not a racist neighborhood.' I told him, 'Nobody dislikes you because you're a black congregation. It's nothing like that. Just turn down the volume a little bit.' " Winters said he tries to keep a watchful eye on the church, and has seen no acts of vandalism, apart from some children banging on the windows.

Church members say they have no plans to leave the neighborhood. "This is 2007," Jerena Copeland said. "We're not running."

"The only way we'll move is if we outgrow the building," Sowell said. "If they want us out, come on over and help fill it up."


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Default Re: Worshippers beware: Government cracking down on Churches - 03-28-2008, 04:10 PM

In a Washington, D.C., neighborhood fast being taken over by homers, Christ-denying liberals are trying to keep almost-True Christians™, many of whom are doubtless ex-Negroes, from even driving to church.

"Alternative" (i.e., somewhere to the left of Lenin) "news"paper:

Quote:
Where Would Jesus Park?


On Feb. 1, the office of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty sent an e-mail to the District’s advisory neighborhood commissioners on what seemed like a ho-hum piece of business. Henceforth, said the memo, the police department’s Third District would be enforcing all parking regulations seven days a week. “We ask for your help in ensuring that residents are informed of this increased attention to parking compliance and safety issues, which will begin immediately,” it read.

The memo looked like real bad news for a particular local demographic—car-bound Christians, that is—especially those who end up parking around Logan Circle. Every Sunday morning, thousands of parishioners flood five churches north of the circle—Vermont Avenue Baptist, Metropolitan Baptist, Eleventh Street Baptist, Way Back to Pentecost Church, and the Church of Christ. They emerge not from the nearby Metro stations but from their automobiles, creating a scramble for parking in an area where spaces are already scarce.

* * *

The worst of it came when churchgoers simply double-parked on the streets adjacent to their house of worship. Lovinger blames that practice for keeping parked-in residents from LSATs, flights, and kids’ soccer games. He also says that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles often had to take wide detours around the area.

* * *

Tensions between ticket-pushing Logan Circle residents and the largely suburban congregations of area churches reached a full boil in 2006. In March of that year, DDOT announced a plan to gradually begin enforcing parking regulations on Sundays, while working with churches and community members to come up with alternative parking and transportation arrangements.

Churches in the area roundly denounced the plan and held an anti-enforcement rally in Logan Circle. The rally was attended by a who’s who of local politicians, as well as Lorraine C. Miller, president of the D.C. chapter of the NAACP. Pastors claimed that enforcing double-parking regulations would “turn the city into a one-class, one-race gated community” and “kill…our congregations.”

* * *

Yet as any activist will tell you, supporting parking enforcement and actually doing it are different matters. After surveying the neighborhood on Sunday, March 2, Lovinger said, “I saw a ton of egregious violations today—people parked in front of hydrants, in front of traffic lights. They were parked in crosswalks. If a handicapped person had come by, they wouldn’t have been able to cross the street.”

Perhaps there’d be less blocking if the faithful would use additional spaces set aside by the city just east of Logan Circle along the Rhode Island Avenue median. But on two recent Sundays, those spaces were mostly empty. “[Residents] thought three blocks was a reasonable distance for churchgoers to walk,” says Lovinger. “But apparently they disagreed.”
The sodomites, yuppie scum, and other hellbound trash who have moved into the neighborhood are demanding special privileges at the expense of churchgoers.


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