Church Sees New Opposition To Buying The Club Restaurant

Church Sees New Opposition To Buying The Club Restaurant

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The Christian Fellowship Center says it's ready to close on its purchase of The Club restaurant. Officials want to start worship services similar to those held here in Madrid.

“It's right in the center of downtown. Beautiful building. We're really excited to use it, ourselves as a believing community, but as a way to bless the whole community of Canton,” said Jamie Sinclair, lead pastor. 

But they have opponents. Some say parking will be a problem. Others don't want it to be tax exempt. 

Now another group is weighing in. LBGTQ rights advocates say they oppose it on moral grounds. 

The pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton gave 7 News a statement which read in part: “The thing I fear is a church coming into Canton that does not believe that LBGTQ people are already full of dignity, worth, and love as they are. … We believe in a bigger love that transcends all the stuff that divides and we would oppose any doctrine that does not promote love.”

Christian Fellowship says that issue is a distraction in light of an upcoming zoning appeals hearing. Sinclair didn't lay out church belief on the point. But said he's willing to talk to those who have concerns.

“I don't want to kind of dive into the weeds on any distracting issues. But if somebody's interested, we're always happy to sit down and talk...and look to scripture and say what does the bible say about this,” said Sinclair.

The village planning board took on the issue of the church locating in The Club in September. But it was then passed off to the zoning board of appeals.

A lot of people have good memories of The Club and everyone wants to see the old building reused. But exactly what it will be reused for remains in a kind of limbo for now. 

The zoning board of appeals hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Canton municipal building. It is expected to be well attended. 

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