Houston Housing Authority (HHA) has decided to cease all attempts at seizing the land of two historic churches in Houston’s Fifth Ward.

In August, HHA made known their intentions of obtaining the plots of land that Latter Day Deliverance Revival Center and Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church own, respectively. Both churches have been doing remarkable work in the Fifth Ward for decades.

“Our clients are thrilled that they can continue ministering in the same community where they have been for 60 years,” said Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys.

The Liberty Institute stepped in to represent the churches, at no cost, in a lawsuit against HHA. “The city has no right to tell churches where they can or can’t minister,” Dys said after L.I. filed the suit. The court granted the churches a temporary restraining order against HHA who, according to Liberty Institute, threatened the use of eminent domain.

As of today, HHA has voluntarily ended all attempts at acquiring the property that these two historical churches reside on. In a press release, Liberty Institute said, “The City’s decision ends a three-month legal battle in a significant victory for the religious freedom and life-transforming work in a disadvantaged urban neighborhood.”

The churches, which have opened their doors to everyone from gang members to drug addicts, can now continue to freely minister to the community without the threat of government taking their property.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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