Not long ago, we reported the case of Pastor Chris Avell of Dad's Place Church in Bryan, Ohio. Seeing homeless people outside his church with nowhere to go because all of the other nearby shelters were full, Avell took them into the church, gave them food, and sheltered them against the cold.
For his charity, the city of Bryan leveled nearly two dozen criminal charges against the pastor because of zoning issues.
I'm pleased to announce those charges have now been dropped.
The city has agreed that rather than prosecuting Avell, they will work with him to bring his church up to code so that he can continue to do the work God has called him to do, safely.
Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade stated, "The city of Bryan appreciates the willingness of Dad's Place to work with the city to resolve the parties' differences amicably and to ensure that the services provided by Dad's Place are delivered in a safe manner. The parties continue to work together in a concerted effort to bring the case to a final resolution."
Pastor Avell said,
I am thankful to God, the city, and for everyone who has been praying for this day to come. Bryan is my home. I am eager to continue to serve God, my community, and the people I love.
Avell's lawsuit against the city is still being mediated, but both parties anticipate a peaceful resolution there as well.
"We are grateful that the city of Bryan has dropped the criminal charges against Pastor Avell," said Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel at First Liberty. "Ministries like Dad's Place provide vital public services to their communities. We will continue our conversations with city officials in hopes that we can find a final resolution where Dad's Place can continue to serve those in need in its community."
Marc Fishel, Bryan City Attorney said, "The City's has always focused on health and safety and we are grateful that the parties are working towards a solution."
It just goes to show what prayer can do.
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