(PRESS RELEASE) – Pastor Chris Avell of Dad’s Place in Bryan, Ohio will be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, January 11th, at 10:00 ET at the Bryan Municipal Court, 1399 East High Street, Bryan, OH.
Dad’s Place opened its doors 24 hours a day last March to anyone in need of a place to rest or get out of the cold.
The church is located next door to a county homeless shelter, but often takes in those the shelter cannot help.
But beginning in November, city officials told the church to kick the homeless out of the building or face criminal charges, due to alleged zoning violations.
In recent weeks, Pastor Avell has been charged with at least 18 criminal charges for zoning violations. Police served him during church services on Sunday, January 1st.
Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel at First Liberty Institute said, “To file criminal charges against a pastor for daring to care for the homeless in the frigid winter is unconscionable.”
“The city has decided that it’s better for the homeless to freeze on the fringed cold sidewalks than to allow a church to be a church and remain open 24 hours a day to those who need it the most.”
First Liberty Institute represents Pastor Avell, and their attorneys will attend tomorrow’s arraignment.