Tulsa Congregation Forced Out

Tuesday, July 27th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some Oklahoma parishioners say they don't need a building to worship. Crossroads Evangelical Methodist's service went on as scheduled despite being kicked out by their landlord saying members failed to keep the building up to fire code. The same shiny faces showed up for service Sunday only the congregation gathered in the parking lot. The shade was the best spot because the sun beat down as members of Crossroads Evangelical Methodist held service outside their chapel. They aren't allowed inside the landlord evicted them last week. Church members say the only reason the Nanci Realty Corporation evicted them is their neighbors, the Millennium Club, cannot renew A liquor license. It's too close to the church. "I guess they became desperate in measures to keep the night club here, because he rents a lot of floor space," says Pastor Bill Story. The management company says the church failed to fix some fire hazards. The church says the hazards were there when the company bought the building in February. Church members say they've fixed the problems themselves. The landlord says that's not true and church members had numerous chances to comply. Worshipers say the eviction came just days after they tried to move to another space in the center farther away from the club. "We'll let the lawyers handle the legal part. We're going to do the spiritual part," says a church member. Church members say they will stand tall as they battle to get back inside. Church members have eight days to remove their belongings from the building. The church's attorney says they won't be moving until a fire marshal takes a tour with the landlord.