In Defense of the Pulpit, from a BBC Defender

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By Marion Marks [NOTE: KSLA TV Story-Interviews][KTBS Story- Interview]

rewrites 4Any articles I sign my name to are subject to review, and I am never going to say I am without fault, therefore I have decided to address one email challenging the recent article regarding Broadmoor Baptist Church and their neighbors. Please don’t post more crazy items, because this is the first in the last 23,000+ I have even read completely! and this particular story had over 20,000 readers in the first 24 hours it was posted.

True, I only completed limited research, and yes BBC has years of experience with their neighbors. However, listening to some neighbors, reading several of the responses to the applications and speaking with both elected officials and city planners on this matter, I felt I had a grasp of many of the facts regarding the relationship. It was also evident in the votes and reports of the various boards that BBC fell short of the requirements they needed to achieve their expansion goals.

We hope to publish some of these reports and studies soon to give additional substance to the contentions, and this will be done as soon as we have digital versions of all documents.

I also encourage the church to supply any official records and conduct a personalized neighborhood development initiative.

Now for the “Friend of the Church” response:

From: cap_phd@.******.com
Submitted on 2014/06/03 at 4:52 pm
It is one thing to oppose what BBC is seeking to do, and I uphold and protect your right to do so. But, in the interest of integrity, you should not so misrepresent the one you are opposing.

I have intimate knowledge of all the events you mentioned. I will now outline where you comments were patently false. And I guarantee the comments to be mentioned below are 100% false.

You wrote, “Now, the church has become an enemy, refusing to take “No” for an answer when they tried to bully Mary to sell her home.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. We listened to the objections of “Mary” and the others at the ZBA meeting. It is our intention to meet with the neighbors between now and when the appeal is heard by the Council. When then intend to amend the plan in a way that is, as much as possible, agreeable to all parties involved. Then, and only then, will the Council vote on it. Had you contacted the church for information, you would have known that.

You wrote, “BBC has attempted on several occasions to close adjacent Atlantic Street to expand facilities and create contiguous access throughout the entire campus.” Again, this is not true. BBC requested the closure of Atlantic ONE time over a decade ago. When the City Council rejected the request, the pastor said on the evening news, “We asked God to speak to us through the City Council and He has. We accept His decision.” Not ONCE, since that vote more than a decade ago, has BBC sought to close Atlantic. Either you have your “facts” mixed up or you blatantly misrepresented the truth.

You wrote, “When BBC completed a previous building phase, part of the agreement with the city included a pond and a certain amount of green space to compensate for the extra concrete area. This has not been done.” Again, not true. All requests of the city agencies have been complied with. ALL of them.

You wrote, “The church sent numerous members of the clergy and board to Mary and her neighbors to let them know that, one way or the other, the church will have their property.” This is again a blatant misrepresentation of the truth. Members of the church staff visited the neighbors before the ZBA meeting to make them aware of what was in the request and see if they had any objections. We wanted them to be fully informed in case they wanted to be at the ZBA meeting. Had we not informed them of the request, they wouldn’t have known about it and it probably would have passed the ZBA easily. But we didn’t want them to be blindsided, since they are our neighbors.

You wrote, “Even though the Zoning Board of Appeal ruled unanimously against the church’s request to for a variance, BBC continued construction.” The ZBA minutes will show you the error of this assertion. They only ruled against he proposed zoning change west of the church where the parking was being requested. They approved the zoning change where the building is being built. And that’s why the city permitted us to resume the construction of that building.

Finally, you wrote, “Now, after numerous rejections, the church is attacking the situation by going directly to the city council for a favorable ruling. They are doing this even though they have not completed obligations made in their last agreement with the city, yet they are fairly confident of the outcome.”

Look above where I already explained what we are doing with the appeal. We are seeking a resolution that all parties find acceptable.

As I wrote, I support your right to oppose the church on this issue. And I invite you to do so as vigorously as you desire. But I encourage you do do so without misrepresenting the truth. I do realize your argument would not have been as persuasive if you had stuck to the facts, but that’s the nature of honest debate.

If you or anyone reading this would like to know anything about this issue, feel free to contact BBC. Ask to speak to the Pastor, Executive Pastor, or Minister of Business Administration. They would be glad to visit with you. May God’s will be done, and may God’s children represent him as He would have us to.

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