Pastor Greg Locke says he will counter-sue the Wilson County Government in Tennessee after the county sued Locke for zoning violation and “excessive noise” at the Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet.
“Let me be plain: we will counter-sue the county. We will keep having services. We will not be bullied, and we will continue to do all we can to minimize sound, be good neighbors, and serve the community,” Locke said, according to ChurchLeaders.com.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Wilson County Development Services director Tom Brashear, says Global Vision Bible Church “has a history of numerous complaints, some of which are related to zoning violations and others about excessive noise.”
The suit also says that the church has not obtained legal building permits for construction at the church over the years and has violated several county “Notice to Stop Work” orders.
According to the lawsuit, numerous residents have also filed noise complaints.
“The complaints have increased in number and the frequency from neighbors who suffer from the excessive noise, drainage from the property, and other issues,” the suit reads.
If Global Vision Bible Church does not bring the church into building compliance, the county said it would “remove all buildings from the property and be permanently enjoined from placing any other buildings on the property until there is full and strict compliance with the Wilson County Zoning Ordinance and the Wilson County Stormwater Regulations.”
Locke, however, said the lawsuit was “unconstitutional.”
“It’s flat-out not true. We have done everything we can to be in compliance. We’ve even had a Tennessee State Inspection applaud us on our progress and give us areas that have needed attention.
“There is no noise ordinance, and we’ve gone above and beyond to minimize the sound,” Locke continued. “And now that we’ve done that, they have to find some other trumped-up nonsense to violate us on.”
Locke did, however, admit that the complaints seemed to refer to a building the church had not gathered in for more than three years.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Ehrlif
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.