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Houston Housing Authority backs off attempt to steal church’s property by eminent domain

city_of_houston_nightline_flickrThe Houston Housing Authority (HHA) for several years sought to purchase the property of two churches in the impoverished Fifth Ward for redevelopment projects to improve the ward and make it more economically viable. A commendable concern. However, the HHA’s commendable idea quickly went south when both Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church and Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church told the agency they weren’t interested in selling their properties.

The HHA proceeded to threaten them in August 2015, stating they would use some extreme measures to take their properties if the two churches refused to sell. They told Christian Fellowship their property would be condemned and told Latter Day Deliverance they would take possession of their property by eminent domain. The Liberty Institute stepped in to defend both churches by requesting a restraining order against the agency. When the order was granted by a local court, the HHA dropped their aggressions against Christian Fellowship, but still threatened Latter Day Deliverance with an eminent domain seizure.

Undoubtedly, the pastor of Latter Day Deliverance and the other members of the church prayed as they looked to legal counsel to help them fight in court. Their prayers and efforts paid off recently when the HHA decided to drop all proceedings against the church. Roy Lee Kossie, the church’s 83-year-old bishop, has stated, “We are overjoyed that we can now continue to minister to the Fifth Ward without fear of losing our property. This is where the Lord called Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church to serve and this is where we can now stay.” The church has a 60-year history in the Fifth Ward with several outreach ministries that reach out with love to kids of all ages, drug addicts, gang members, and alcoholics.

The victory of these two churches with the help of the Liberty Institute and God’s favor demonstrate to us how important it is to stand faithful to whatever vision God gives us to carry out. The power of any party opposing us should not be allowed to sway us from our God-given course no matter how dire the circumstances seem or how threatening our enemies appear. If our ministry is set to distribute God’s love and we are determined to do whatever godly thing it takes to carry it out, the Lord will cause our efforts to prosper. This is how and why the apostles were able to spread the gospel throughout the whole world, why the gospel continued even after they were martyred, and why it continues even today in the midst of stiff (and sometimes murderous) opposition.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful [full of anxiety] in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17

Source: Liberty Institute: Houston Housing Authority Calls Off Eminent Domain Proceedings Against African-American Church,, November 2, 2015.


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