City of Houston threatens to steal land from decades-old churches using eminent domain

5th ward cc

When a “bad” neighborhood turns desirable cities always seem to use eminent domain to chase the “undesirables” out. (You know, the people who actually live in a particular neighborhood.) Brooklyn Yard, Chicago, Detroit, Houston. Powerless, or nearly powerless people are easy prey and as such often feel the crush of City Hall.

But times are different. There’s an Internet now. And now these folks can get their stories out to the broader world.

Poor or rich people’s property rights must be respected. That’s what a free society does.

(From Legal Insurrection)

Two churches nestled in what used to be one of Houston’s roughest neighborhoods are fighting back against the city. The Latter Day Deliverance Revival Center was established in the fifth ward in 1965 by Bishop Roy Lee Kossie. A few years later, Pastor Quinton Smith began pastoring at the Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, also in the fifth ward. Both churches have grown and have had a positive impact on their community in each year since their establishment. Building a youth ministry center, a church-run food bank, and creating outreach programs for gang members, drug addicts, and alcoholics, the churches continue their work to transform the fifth ward…

…The fifth ward is located just outside of downtown. Property values in the area have skyrocketed and continue to climb. The City of Houston offered to purchase the churches. When the churches refused, the city came back with threats of using eminent domain to acquire the property as part of an urban development plan.

Click here for the article.