Houston drops eminent domain effort against churches

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with U.S. flagTwo small Texas churches have fought their Goliath - the City of Houston - and can now claim a legal victory.

The Houston Housing authority had plans to pursue a redevelopment project, one that would generate tax revenue, but needed to get rid of two churches on the property. It's located in what used to be referred to as "The Bloody Nickel" because the Fifth Ward neighborhood was very rough.

Dys, Jeremy (WV Family Policy Council)Attorney Jeremy Dys of Liberty Institute says a pastor, Bishop Roy Lee Kossie, started one of the churches approximately 60 years ago.

That church is Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church. The second church is Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

"And when the Houston Housing Authority wanted to do their project they said, We want your property, your outdoor ministry area, and if you don't sell it to us, we're just going to take it through eminent domain," Dys recalls.

The church refused to sell and eminent domain proceedings began. But the city's housing authority office officially discontinued its proceedings, ending three months of legal battles. 

Liberty Institute credited volunteer attorneys from a Houston law firm, Baker Botts, for filing a lawsuit under the state's RFRA to help the churches.

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