Case Page

Case Page: Win for Church’s Homeless Ministry

by | Jan 16, 2009 | Case | 0 comments

A Methodist Church in suburban Philadelphia took seriously the scriptural call to help the poor. They opened a homeless ministry to allow persons facing homelessness to stay at the church free of charge and to receive counseling while they got back on their feet financially. The Township zoning officer took a different view of the ministry and ordered them to stop, claiming that such a ministry was not permitted in the zone in which the church was located. The Independence Law Center assisted the church and their attorney with the federal statutory and constitutional issues in an appeal from the zoning officer’s cease and desist order. The church won back the right to conduct its ministry. According to Randall Wenger, Chief Counsel of the Independence Law Center, “The Bill of Rights recognizes that we should be able to exercise our religious beliefs, free from overbearing governmental restraints. The decision in favor of the church and its homeless ministry is a decision that not only upholds a vital ministry, but a decision consistent with our inherent freedoms as Americans.”