HOUSTON (BP) – Two African American churches in Houston have filed a lawsuit in response to what they say is an illegal city attempt to seize their property for an urban renewal project.
"When we moved into this area, it was considered the highest crime-rate area in the city of Houston," Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church Pastor Roy Lee Kossie said according to a news release from Liberty Institute, the Christian legal organization representing Latter Day and nearby Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. "People shot first and asked questions later. But we love this community. This is where the Lord called us and this is where we want to stay. We aren't giving up without a fight."
Tory Gunsolley, president and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority, told the Houston Chronicle the city wants land owned by the churches as part of a redevelopment effort to include a library and 63-unit housing project. The housing project would replace an apartment complex that had to be demolished because of damage sustained from Hurricane Ike in 2008. The demolished complex could not be rehabilitated, Gunsolley said, because of limitations associated with its proximity to Interstate 10.