City Moves Swiftly to Resolve Church Suit

DOTHAN, AL— Late yesterday, the United States District Court of Alabama entered an order allowing New Life in Jesus Ministry to worship in its building at 274 N. Foster Street. New Life filed suit just ten days before after the city denied the church’s zoning approval in September. The city responded quickly to the federal lawsuit and was able to come to terms with New Life.

“We are so grateful for the city’s cooperation. We thank the Lord that this lawsuit did not drag out at the taxpayers’ expense and that we’re now free to worship in our new home. It’s truly an answer to prayer,” said Reverend Aaron Barnes of New Life in Jesus Ministry. The church’s suit was brought under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which is a federal law that prohibits municipalities from treating religious assemblies on less than equal terms with secular assemblies. The suit pointed out a number of secular assembly uses which Dothan permits by right at the property.

“The city deserves a great deal of credit for working with the church to resolve this case in such a prompt and efficient manner,” said New Life’s attorney Noel Sterett. “I hope we can all agree that the equal protection of the laws and religious freedom are what make America great.”

Once the building is ready, the church will begin worship services there on Sundays at 11:00 a.m., and all are welcome.

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