February 13, 2012
Yesterday marked the last day some 60 New York City congregations could hold worship services in rented public school space following a new city ban on churches in schools. Today, several representatives from those congregations headed to the state capitol in Albany, imploring legislators to approve a bill that would reverse the policy, CBN News reports. The state Senate passed a bill last week that would trump the city's ban, but the bill must also be approved by the state assembly to take effect. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called the Senate's proposal "seriously flawed," adding that it "would open up the schools to anybody. It might include the Ku Klux Klan," but sponsors of the bill said it could be amended to remove any such loopholes. Even if the state assembly does pass the bill, the process could take weeks. Meanwhile, the congregations plan to ask a federal judge to issue an injunction to allow them to continue renting public school space. "The church will prevail," said Pastor Dalton Stephens of Highview Baptist Church in Queens.