Crying ‘bout the Chapel

The church that ate Arlington Heights
49
Posted September 5, 2012 by JEFF PRINCE in News
1997 (above) and  2005 (below). Aerial photos show how much the church campus has grown. Courtesy North Central Texas Council of Governments

1997 (above) and 2005 (below). Aerial photos show how much the church campus has grown. Courtesy North Central Texas Council of Governments

A blissful snooze was ended by the ear-splitting sound of a backhoe demolishing the house next door. “They were knocking down posts and walls and crashing through windows,” Kevin Peters recalled of that early Saturday morning in July.

The doomed house sat behind his backyard fence, about 30 feet from his bedroom window. It had served as a buffer between his house and the towering Christ Chapel. Now it lay in a heap of wood and nails.

Peters wasn’t aware of the troubles between the church and the neighborhood when he and his wife — local TV news reporter Arezow Doost — moved into a brand-new home in the 3700 block of El Campo Avenue earlier this year. The house is part of a cozy, tree-lined neighborhood that attracts families who appreciate living near the Cultural District, the lively development on West 7th Street, and downtown. Peters didn’t reveal what the couple paid for the house, but it’s listed on the Tarrant Appraisal District tax roll at $300,000.

“We weren’t familiar with the history of the church and what happened back in 2004,” he said. “We didn’t realize there were greater plans to add a parking lot or do further development.”

What happened back in 2004 was the last round of church expansion, when blocks of houses were torn down to make way for new buildings and parking (“A Wide Bible Belt,” Sept. 17, 2003). Church membership had jumped from several hundred in 1990 to about 1,800 by the early 2000s. The congregation felt cramped. Onsite parking was scarce. The church built a temporary building in 1998 and established overflow rooms where members could watch services on a live video feed. Other improvements included a children’s building, new choir practice hall, and several temporary buildings for education purposes.

The church had money to spend. Members included many well-off families from West Fort Worth and around the city. Contributions jumped from less than $500,000 in 1990 to $800,000 in 1995 and more than $2.5 million in 2000. Two years later, annual contributions topped $3.5 million.

Church literature reveals one method of solicitation — a hard sell seasoned with religious fervor. Financial campaigns with names such as “In Step With Our Needs” and “Securing Our Future” were held over the years. By 2003, the “Time To Build” campaign was in full swing. Literature included helpful tips on how to more easily let loose of the greenbacks by “determining God’s Will.”

“Begin by praying every day, ‘Lord, I want to give cheerfully and I want to give sacrificially. Please lead me and show me how to give a gift that will stretch my faith,’ ” Senior Pastor Ted Kitchens and finance campaign chairman John Robinson wrote in a letter to members back then.

At the same time, the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association was re-energizing after a stretch of dormancy. Neighbors worried when the church sought a zoning change to tear down houses and replace them with a parking lot near Birchman and Calmont avenues and Margaret Street. Church officials said they wanted to ease congestion from on-street parking, but neighbors then and now said they would rather have a few hours of busy streets every Sunday than to see more houses torn down.

“Parking lots are never good neighbors,” Peters said. “At best it might be benign, but at worst we’re looking at increased noise, especially on Sunday mornings. We’re also worried about our property values.”

Christ Chapel was entering mega-church territory, a phenomenon whereby tax-exempt religious organizations begin looking and acting like a business, gobbling up properties, erecting new buildings with classrooms, day-care centers, theatrical performance halls, and gyms. And yet donations to such entities are untaxed, and the churches pay no income taxes or property taxes to offset the city services they require. The U.S. Congress long ago enacted special tax laws for religious organizations to maintain the separation of church and state.

Zoning rules help control the growth, but there is only so much power a city can wield when any landowner, but particularly a church, wants to build.

 ********

Christ Chapel applied for a zoning change in 2003 to allow it to establish surface parking on nine lots that were zoned residential. By that time, the church had bought about 30 residential properties. Houses and trees were going down.

Upset neighbors distributed fliers, rallied the community, and even picketed outside the church. Some began parking their cars at the curb on Sundays instead of in their driveways to inconvenience the churchgoers and writing “We’re taking back our neighborhood” on their windshields in white shoe polish.

“This is not about religion,” Dave Anderson told Fort Worth Weekly in 2003. “It’s about respect for a neighborhood of hardworking, tax-paying citizens and the arrogance of a church that’s forgotten Christ’s commandment to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Dealing with pesky neighbors wasn’t high on the church’s priority list. The church strategy was to seek concessions quietly through the zoning board and city council. Without much incentive to deal with residents, the church mostly ignored them. That became more difficult after then-city councilman John Stevenson took an interest. Stevenson, a prominent businessman with deep ties to the city’s downtown power crowd, intervened on the neighborhood’s behalf, asked for more communication, and got the council to delay its rezoning.

The neighborhood association asked the church to provide site plans and to communicate with neighbors about any future construction projects. Church leaders began meeting with neighbors and established an improved if still wary relationship. Neighbors weren’t thrilled to hear about plans for a 60-foot-tall sanctuary with a 40-foot steeple. The church had swallowed up four blocks bounded by Montgomery Street on the east, Owasso Street on the west, I-30 on the south, and Pershing Avenue on the north. Members were told of a plan to raise almost $10 million for new improvements.

By 2004, negotiations climaxed in a bittersweet agreement: The church would enlarge its footprint, including a two-story parking garage, but agree to a seven-year moratorium on further expansion.

The church, however, didn’t stop its acquisitions, nor did it keep the neighborhood in the loop about future plans. It scooped up more houses and lots — somewhat secretly, since it asked sellers to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Now church leaders are tearing down or moving some of those houses and seeking city approval for a new parking lot on Pershing Avenue to hold about 150 cars.

The names and faces of some neighbors have changed since 2003, but the criticisms haven’t. They still complain that church leaders haven’t been open. Residents would rather the church seek an exception and build the lot — if it must — on land that’s zoned for residential use.

The proposed parking lot would be environmentally friendly — a grassy field with sand and gravel underneath to support cars, dotted with trees to provide parking space on Sundays and a neighborhood-friendly green space the rest of the week.

Peters, like many of his neighbors, isn’t on board. The church wants to park cars five feet away from his back fence. “That’s too close,” he said. “That’s not what we envisioned when we bought this house. It’s very quiet around here.”

Peters and his wife might still have purchased their new house even if they knew that a parking lot was going to be built behind them, but they wouldn’t have paid as much for it, he said. He estimated that the parking lot and its early morning activity on weekends could reduce the value of his house by up to 8 percent.

If Wal-Mart or another big-box retailer came along and tried to buy whole blocks and tear down houses and trees, they would face a public outcry. Churches, however, seem to have carte blanche in spreading their wings, Peters said.

“People in this country are tired of religious bullies that [act like] just because you have the word ‘Christ’ in the name of your organization you can do what you want, when you want, how you want, with little care or regard for your neighbors,” he said. “That’s just wrong. A good neighbor, instead of doing everything it can to build, build, build and buy up property in our neighborhood, would look at other alternatives.”

Other alternatives suggested by neighbors include staggered service times, a taller parking garage, and shuttle service from outlying areas.


49 Comments


  1.  
    Phil Esteen

    “We don’t strong-arm people; we offer them fair market value,” spokesman Rick Neves said.

    Spoken like a true Texas Republican businessman without the slightest hint of influence from the teachings of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more hilarious than a Texas ‘Christian’ conservative.

    Do these church charlatans know ANYTHING about what Jesus Christ taught?




    •  
      JN

      Like the fair market value offered by leftist Corzine to the investors at MF Global after he ripped off 2.3 billion for his second wife to refurb a French castle? Or lobbying activities of leftist Axelrod with Excelon? Life is GOOD if you have a corrupt DOJ and leftist president for a crony…(lol)




      •  
        JN

        So sorry, i omitted the word “Godless” from the leftist description.




      •  
        Adam

        What JN means to say is, if “godless leftists” can do it then it’s OK for conservative Christians to do it too. You have to laugh at that response as it only reiterates what you said.




        •  
          JN

          Actually the first intention of the commenter was to politicize the issue( which I suspect was the underlying intention of the author). Of course, that was short sighted given the obvious problems and lack of insight thereof one might attribute to the opposition.




  2.  
    Chris P

    It’s hard not to come to the conclusion that this is a smear piece when obvious details and any attempt at real number crunching is left out…
    - The author strongly implies that there is a single Christ Chapel service on Sundays when there are in fact 3 separate Sunday services.
    - And comparing a grass church parking lot, which will only be used on Sundays, to that of a Wal-Mart? Is that a joke? I for one would love to have a parking lot like that behind my house or close by, because it would be great for throwing the ball and playing with the kids, and it’s only occupied one day a week.
    - Nothing from the author or course on the fact that Christ Chapel has donated all the usable houses by moving them to other locations and giving them to needy families.

    A lack of research leads to a lack of credibility.




    •  
      jeff.prince

      “The author strongly implies that there is a single Christ Chapel service on Sundays when there are in fact 3 separate Sunday services”

      – The large majority of Christ Chapel’s church members go to church on Sunday mornings between 9 and noon. Thousands of them show up during the same approximate time period. Neighbors wanted church leaders to expand services to other days and times, but the church refused.
      .
      “Comparing a grass church parking lot, which will only be used on Sundays, to that of a Wal-Mart? Is that a joke?”

      The story wasn’t comparing a grass church parking lot to a Wal-Mart, it was comparing the entire 10-acre church complex to a Wal-Mart. Sounds like you’re the one using selective information to draft a smear piece.

      “Nothing from the author of course on the fact that Christ Chapel has donated all the usable houses by moving them to other locations and giving them to needy families.”

      Some houses were torn down, others were moved (which I stated in the article). I left messages with different church officials and with Tom Galbreath on Aug. 29 to ask for a tour of the facility and to do more interviewing. My goal when writing a story is to listen to all sides. Nobody from the church returned my call except for Bill Egner, who called me back six days after I left him a message — his call came in on the same day we were going to press with the story. We talked on the phone and I added some of his comments to the story before we published.




      •  
        Chris P

        Fair enough, but you’re picking the words and it just sounds slanted. When you say that the church “refused” to expand services to other days and times, do you realize how asinine that sounds when the church already has 3 services on Sundays?




        •  
          Foxy1986

          Actually it doesn’t if you read it correctly – the story isn’t implying they refused to expand outside of ONE service. And they DID refuse to expand outside those 3 services. Expansion is expansion no matter what number you start with.




  3.  
    JN

    Typical anti -Christian BS.




    •  
      Foxy1986

      JN, this has nothing to do with Christianity if you read the story. You should try that. The only thing that may qualify as such is a lack of compassion. It’s more about politics and zoning. Don’t be so quick to say something so obviously incorrect.




      •  
        JN

        Sigh,… where to began on the audacity of this anti Christian hit piece. So the “story” is all about politics and “zoning”, Foxy?– Really?–It seems to me that instead of taking the well intentioned advice of the Zoning Commisioner Nick Genua to form a neighborhood steering committee, Red headed activist Ms. Wiley launched into a childish temper tantrum which included aggressively rufusing his advice and slandering the church as a Christian “cult” (whatever that means..). Never mind that the church occupying a small portion of a triangle bounded by 3 of the busiest streets in Ft. Worth (Camp Bowie , Montgomery, and I-30) is nastily featured as “the church that ATE Arlington Heights “on the FWW cover (imagine how a similarly slanted feature re: a putatively “offensive” Mosque/Synagogue /Buddhist temple would inspire leftist outrage).Never mind that the church actually improved the neighborhood by erecting a classical neogothic structure in place of an older building in a frankly run down area–after paying off the note ( a novelty no doubt to Mr. Prince). Also Mr. Peters? “Parking lots don’t make good neighbors” …and the noise from I-30 does? The church (lol) disturbs the “tranquility” of a business industrial area 2 blocks from I-30? and a new limited use structure decreases property values? Sorry, no sale… sounds like an anti-Christian FWW orchestrated attempt at a “shake down” of the peaceful Christian community




        •  
          Amyc

          Why did you have to describe Ms. Wiley as “Red headed?” That has absolutely nothing to do with her as a person. As a red head, and a woman, it’s very annoying that the first thing you mention about someone is the color of their hair, when it has nothing to do with the rest of the comment.




  4.  
    Naomi

    I’ve lived in this neighborhood my entire life and no one in this community appreciates the church expansion. Property values are declining. The church is an eye sore. The parking garage is disgusting. This was a small, historic community that now has to deal with a mega church eating up property and creating a Sunday morning nussance for those of us that enjoy sleeping off hangovers, hosting cook outs and taking the dogs out for walks. I’m happy that this article was written without religious bias. The article points out the religious bias shown by the city and government when allowing churches to expand and rezone. It is about a large business destroying the spirit of a community and neighborhood.




    •  
      Chris P

      So here’s the rub for the church. You’ve got some neighbors who complain that the church needs a bigger parking garage so nobody parks on the street. And then others like you who complain about everything INCLUDING the parking garage. So if they built a bigger one you’d be complaining about that. And I love how people call it an eyesore, when objectively speaking it’s one of the better looking churches to go up in Fort Worth in quite some time. Stone construction, nice slate roof, great landscaping, etc. Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but that’s not an ugly building.

      The church wants to be in the middle of the city, because unlike what’s implied by the article, most of its members live within 10 minutes drive. And short of moving out to the far suburbs away from everything, they just can’t win. Everyone has something to complain about…




      •  
        Naomi

        Oh, wow. “Others like you…” Oh, man. That made me laugh. Others like me that actually live in the neighborhood and talk to neighbors and attend neighborhood association meetings and listen to concerns about this church taking over our community? Yes. Others like me. It doesn’t matter to us how much they try to beautify the overgrown church, it matters to me that they destroyed 90 year old homes and trees, turned my neighborhood into something else entirely, ignored protests from the community, and used the word “church” to get rezoning passed.
        And yes. Everyone has something to complain about. I guess the importance in the declining value of one’s propery is also in the eye of the beholder- or mortgage payer- which you obviously aren’t in my neighborhood. I wouldn’t want you to be grouped into the “others like you” category you so rightfully placed me in.
        And objectively speaking, you aren’t so objective as you claim to be. Your previous posts actually demonstrate your partiality. But that’s ok, sometimes I don’t know how to use words properly either.
        I think this was a nice little chat, Chris P. Have a great day. I’m going to start planning my use of the new grassy field you would personally love to have in your back yard. I’m thinking keggers and BBQs Saturday nights followed up with topless sunbathing on Sunday mornings with some girlfriends… Now that’s something to pray about. ;)




      •  
        Naomi

        Oh, wow. “Others like you…” Oh, man. That made me laugh. Others like me that actually live in the neighborhood and talk to neighbors and attend neighborhood association meetings and listen to concerns about this church taking over our community? Yes. Others like me. It doesn’t matter to us how much they try to beautify the overgrown church, it matters to me that they destroyed 90 year old homes and trees, turned my neighborhood into something else entirely, ignored protests from the community, and used the word “church” to get rezoning passed.
        And yes. Everyone has something to complain about. I guess the importance in the declining value of one’s propery is also in the eye of the beholder- or mortgage payer- which you obviously aren’t in my neighborhood. I wouldn’t want you to be grouped into the “others like you” category you so rightfully placed me in.
        And objectively speaking, you aren’t so objective as you claim to be. Your previous posts actually demonstrate your partiality. But that’s ok, sometimes I don’t know how to use words properly either.




  5.  
    Michael

    It’s good to see that others have picked up on the bias in this article. I was interested in it in the first place because I recognized the church and know quite a bit about it, but I was disgusted to read what the author had to say. As someone else commented, many of the homes have been moved to poor areas – such as Como – to be used as affordable housing. This would have been a nice detail to see in the article.
    More importantly, I think that the whole premise is wrong. The church is not forcing anyone out of their homes; they are simply offering to buy homes. Arlington Heights is certainly not the finest of neighborhoods, and I can imagine that plenty of the people love the opportunity to be paid for their houses.
    The parking lots and expansions are absolutely necessary because of the sheer size of the congregation. It isn’t entirely uncommon for the three parking lots and parking garage to completely fill up, so that people have to park either across Montgomery St (dangerous) or along the neighborhood’s streets (obnoxious).




  6.  
    ICD

    Brothers and Sisters:

    There are two things people in Fort Worth cannot get enough of in no particular order of importance: church and parking. It seems the imbroglio in and around Christ Chapel Bible Church has both of these in ways and means that would make Fort Worth proud. It should be titled, “How Can I Pray if God Has Not Reserved a Good Parking Space Nearby to His Son Before that Pilate Guy Gets Him.”

    See, I remember when people would go to a church in their neighborhood, walking there normally, checking out who had not yet removed their Christmas lights and who had paint chips falling and maybe a car up on blocks in the backyard. And yelling and screaming coming through the screens. You went to the service after observing the herd you lived among, listened to some guy with a collar and flowing robes dissect his abstract view of life, and them move on home. This is where you watched football on TV and drank beer or mowed the lawn to get away from the family. The evening began and ended when Andy Rooney would say something similar to “These are my keys …”

    It was all about getting outside of oneself, not locked inside of your own mental masturbation, and without having to find a parking space to accomplish all this. See, you could imagine being at church in Arlington Hts. without using up valuable parking, and get just as much out of it as being there in a physical sense. Sorry, I’m probably going too fast for many of you.

    So, to all you members of Christ Chapel Bible Church, take some Sundays off from time to time, read some Charles Bukowski or explore the niceties of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and his SunGenius’ unidentified flying objects spinning around with the Dead Kennedys “Forward to Death” as background music. All this, and not once thinking about parking and contemplating coveting thy neighbors house by tearing it down. Maybe you even write an epistle, addressing the letter to the Arlington Heights Street Parking-olonians. “I saw the Lord’s work, and it was about directing traffic on Montgomery Street. And it was good.”

    I will pray for you all. Back to dancing. Free from motion-less car thought.

    ICD
    Pastor
    Church of the Ballroom Blitz




  7.  
    Dan R.

    In my opinion, Christ Chapel is known for it’s arrogant leaders, as well as, it’s arrogant parishioners. They just can’t seem to keep from cramming God and their sense of “entitlement” down outsiders’ throat’s as evidenced in this article. I know from personal experience, as I have been questioned by members about my church attendance, as if God actually is taking role and it will affect my chance of an afterlife. Some how, some way, they want you to think they are better. So….let’s see…. living a life of righteousness, showing kindness and concern to our follow man is Not what Jesus had in mind? No….YOU HAVE TO TO CHURCH!




  8.  
    Anne Ivy

    As one of the MANY people in Arlington Heights who attend CCBC, and one who lives a few blocks away from the church, one thing that has been ridiculous over the years has been the romanticizing of the neighborhood immediately surrounding it. When the church began its expansion campaign a large percentage – actually, I believe it was the majority – of the houses were rental property, many of which weren’t well cared for. Frankly, though I’m fond of the neighborhood, having lived here over 30 years, it was run-down and tired.

    As I drove home from errands this afternoon, I noticed how along Calmont several houses are or have been remodeled. Since the new building was erected, many houses have been updated. If this is how CCBC is destroying the neighborhood, then I’m all in favor.

    The author of this wholly biased, pathetic piece of “reporting” (any journalism class would have stamped a big F on it) omitted a very salient point which seems to have been forgotten by a lot of people, including those in the surrounding blocks: there was to have been a hotel of some sort – not an upscale one – built where is now the parking lot on the SE corner of the property. I was not at all happy about the thought of that dratted hotel (which one WAS it? The chain wasn’t as cheap as Motel 6, but it wasn’t a Ramada, either), and neither was the church nor the neighbors. The church stretched itself financially and managed to buy the property from the guy who owned it and was going to build the hotel (IIRC, he didn’t own quite enough property to allow for what he wanted, and when the church refused to sell to him, he instead sold to them).

    Either Mr. Prince was aware of this and chose to ignore it as it didn’t fit the screed he was so clearly determined to write, or he’s a sub-standard reporter who missed a key piece of information.

    Neither reflect well on him.




    •  
      ICD

      CCBC members:

      I went looking in the Bible for verses that give some inspiration that show how to deal with people nearby who live in an area that is “run-down and tired” and who might be renters. Or what to do with “the thought of that dratted hotel” and what type of evil people might be sleeping there at night.

      Couldn’t find any verses about those things. Found many like these, however:

      “And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
      “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
      because he has anointed me
      to proclaim good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
      and recovering of sight to the blind,
      to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
      to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
      Luke 4:17-19

      “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20).

      “If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.” Deut. 15:7

      “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:12-14.

      “The young man said to Him, “All these commands I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Mt. 19:20ff.

      Maybe instead of buying up these properties with “rundown and tired” people living in them and then tearing them down so that no one can ever live there again (a church cleansing, if you will), perhaps you should just put a wall around your church to keep you away from such people and sit in your wonderful building without all that bother.




    •  
      JN

      I am aware of the church but am not a member. I have lived in the area for 20 years and I am also aware of the improved appearance of the surrounding neighborhood, since the church has been built. The information regarding the plan to build a budget hotel on or near the property fits with the recent appearance of a new crop (too many perhaps?) of budget hotels near the medical district. Incidentally such hotels are not good neighbors– Arlington recently had to demolish a run down hotel near 360 which had fallen into disrepair and was a haven for drug addicts, prostitutes, etc. I am likely overly suspicious, but it seems to me to be bad journalisitic form to avoid interviewing the target of your reporting until two days before a major national holiday and one day before the “item” goes to press. Obviously any kook with an axe to grind seems to be given preferential treatment compared to the church–including pictures . The FWW specializes in faux “victims”. I also suspect that since the church was “buying” houses, some saw it as an opportunity to get “a better deal”. It is a shame, but pretty transparent to the average reader…




      •  
        jeff.prince

        There you go with your made-up facts again. After the meeting between residents and church leaders, I approached Rick Neves that same night and asked to set up an interview and church tour with a church official. He told me to call Egner. I called both Egner and Rick Disney, as well as Tom Galbreath on Wednesday, Aug. 29. I received no reply from any of them for six days. The major national holiday you are speaking about is Labor Day, which fell on Sept. 3. They could have called me back on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday in the days leading up to the holiday weekend. They could have even called me on Saturday or Sunday. There was plenty of time for somebody with the church to return my call before the day we published.




        •  
          JN

          Jeff,
          Most people consider the major national holidays falling on a Monday, to start on the preceeding weekend. So you called on Weds. Aug 29 . The holiday weekend (when many people go out of town for a long weekend holiday) starts for many on Fri Aug 31. It is unlikely that any business person would answer such a call until after the completion of the Labor Day holiday on Sept 4…about 6 days… Perhaps you should have held back the article since it does not appear that adequate notice to the “target” was given. If they had disagreed to do an interview, you would have a valid point.




  9.  
    Vince

    As I read this, I was thankful it was a clear and unbiased stance by the writer. That’s a joke son…that’s a joke.




  10.  
    Joe Shmo

    I wonder if there would be this much venom about the church if it wasn’t a church. Perhaps it was a movie theater that’s been there for 20 or 30 years and it wanted to expand, build a parking lot, and give people fair market value. Would they still use words like “bully” or “arrogant”? Perhaps we enjoy flexing our muscles at a church? Churches grow because they help people along, meet their needs, often in troubled times. I can’t hate that.




  11.  
    Adam

    In reading all the comments it seems like the one thing everyone can agree on is that the church is simply too big for its location.




    •  
      JN

      “The church is simply too big for tits location”.. Not, apparently to the Ft. Worth Planning and Zoning Commission which allowed the church to be built and is attempting to get the neighborhood anti parking lot “activists” to form a steering committee ( a reasonable suggestion rejected by those individuals vociferously complaining, by the way)




    •  
      Alder

      Maybe that’s why Birchman Baptist left and moved to west FW so it could find a larger lot to grow into instead of doing what Christ Chapel is doing.




  12.  
    AS

    Hey FW Weekly – When will you do an article about what Christ Chapel has done for the community? With fair representation from both sides?




  13.  
    JM

    What have they done? It’s my understanding that it’s not much. A church this big could make a big difference for homeless people like a meals on wheels thing or instead of building a megatheater with electric light show and giant screen TV’s, why not build a shelter or a place where poor people can come eat for free.

    Churches like this are just big country clubs IMO.




  14.  
    JM

    BTW: I can’t recall Jesus asking anybody to sign a nondisclosure agreement.




  15.  
    Neighbor

    I have been involved in the process since the very night that Jeff Prince attended the meeting. No one on this forum has any of the facts correct so you are basically arguing about nothing. Some facts I will throw out quickly are these. A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat. Any questions about facts of the issue I will try to answer. I will try to stay out of opinions as much as I can but I’m sure my tone will show my side of the issue. But these items here are facts and I encourage you to get involved if you are concerned about this issue.




  16.  
    Neighbor

    I have been involved in the process since the very night that Jeff Prince attended the meeting. No one on this forum has any of the facts correct so you are basically arguing about nothing. Some facts I will throw out quickly are these. A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat. Any questions about facts of the issue I will try to answer. I will try to stay out of opinions as much as I can but I’m sure my tone will show my side of the issue.




  17.  
    Neighbor

    I have been involved in the process since the very night that Jeff Prince attended the meeting. No one on this forum has any of the facts correct so you are basically arguing about nothing. Some facts I will throw out quickly are these. A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat. Any questions about facts of the issue I will try to answer.




  18.  
    Neighbor

    I have been involved in the process since the very night that Jeff Prince attended the meeting. No one on this forum has any of the facts correct so you are basically arguing about nothing. Some facts I will throw out quickly are these. A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat.




  19.  
    Neighbor

    No one on this forum has any of the facts correct so you are basically arguing about nothing. Some facts I will throw out quickly are these. A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat.




  20.  
    Neighbor

    No one on this forum has any of the facts correct so you are basically arguing about nothing. Fact: A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat.




  21.  
    Neighbor

    Fact: A joint steering committee was not denied it was formed immediately and has been working with the church since that meeting and is still working as we speak. Contrary to what most of you probably think the conversation has been very civil and professional on both sides of the table. Fact: the church does have three services but they are at two times. One service at 9 and TWO at 11. As far as traffic flow goes this is essentially only two services. If parking is really the issue then they could greatly reduce the number of people on campus at one time by staggering services. I attend an Arlington heights church and we offer three staggered services. When the neighborhood proposed this idea it was rejected by the church. This is not an anti church or religion issue. We have people in the neighborhood from all different faiths and beliefs. Fact: the church currently has about 300% of the amount of parking required by the city. (They require 1 spot for every 5 seats in sanctuary). With the new lot they will be at 400% of required parking which is nearly one spot for every seat.




  22.  
    Neighbor

    Fact: The church does have three services but two of them are at the same time so that doesn’t really count as three services when traffic flow is the issue. The neighborhood proposed staggering the sevices to reduce the number of people on campus at a time and the church refused it on the spot without any deliberation.
    Fact: I believe it was said above that the neighborhood refused to form a steering committee. This is not true. One was formed immediately and began meeting on a regular basis with the church. And contrary to what most of you expect the conversation has been very civil, respectful and professional.
    Any other facts that need addressing?




  23.  
    Neighbor

    Sorry about the multiple responses. This was done in error. I apologize for clutter.




  24.  
    AH Neighbor

    Thank you, Neighbor! I just finished watching last night’s FW City Council Meeting posted online and applaud the efforts of the AHNA and Councilman Shingleton. Your hard work is certainly appreciated by my family, friends and our neighbors who take great pride in calling Arlington Heights home.





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