Local Religious Leaders May File Litigation Against Country Crossing

By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

The Columbia Baptist Association was the only organization that spoke out against the Country Crossings project on Thursday.

D. Min. Jerry Grandstaff, director of Missions, says he and other concerned ministers feel they must keep fighting for biblical and social reasons.

Days after State Senator Harri Anne Smith pulled the plug on her fight against electronic bingo in the state legislature, some local religious leaders met to discuss their next plan of action.

"We are discussing with business leaders that have a concern about this as well and we're also working with the ACAP in Birmingham about the possibility of litigation," Grandstaff said.

Grandstaff would not say what businesses he's referring to, and he would not tell reporters the names of what he says are at least 10 other churches in Houston County who are involved in the fight.

The group says even though the county commission did not break the original law on charity bingo, they feel like elected officials usurped the original intent of the law.

"When there was a vote in 1994, and this is the opinion of the ministers, the citizens did not understand that what they did then could bring the possibility of this here today and that’s why we're not comparing apples to apples," Grandstaff continued.

Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver said, "That may be the case, but in fact, the vote was taken on bingo and the federal law says this is in fact bingo, and again, we believe what we've done is legal and we believe that a majority of the community is behind it."

Meanwhile, supporters of the Country Crossing project say they are still confident with the commission's decision.

On Saturday, April 19th, the first Country Crossing support rally will be held at the Dothan Convention Center.

The Alabama Citizens’ Action Program, the group out of Birmingham and Montgomery that Grandstaff is working with, is a Christian lobbying group.

The local religious leaders plan to meet in the next couple weeks to let the community know about their next plan of action.

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