JOYFUL NOISE NOT WELCOME IN HOUSTON

Published: February 27, 2013, 12:12 pm, by Bill Vogrin

 

Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Houston

Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Houston. Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Houston Chronicle / © 2013 Houston Chronicle

Side Streets reader Scott McKeever saw this story in Houston and shared it with me.

I’m glad he did.

It’s about a conflict between century-old Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and its new neighbors in Houston’s Heights neighborhood.

In the last few years, the aging neighborhood has turned over with new houses replacing old homes. Newcomers complain about noise from services and choir rehearsals.

The conflict has escalated recently with police being called.

Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church is decades old. It finds itself surrounded by new neighbors who don't appreciate the sounds of church services.

Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church is decades old. It finds itself surrounded by new neighbors who don’t appreciate the sounds of church services. Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Houston Chronicle / © 2013 Houston Chronicle

This is from the Houston Chronicle:

Newcomers also don’t seem to like the sounds from construction workers building a new sanctuary next to the church or the parking issues on Sunday mornings.

“I really don’t under­stand this because every one of these houses used our parking lot as a staging area to get their lumber.

“They disturbed us early in the morning and late at night when they were working and we had something going on at the church, but we never complained about it,” said Maurice A. Johnson, the congregation’s pastor for two decades.

I liked this quote from the pastor:

“I will not apologize for us worshipping God and I will not apologize that we are in an old building and our noise seeps through.”

I suspect this could get even uglier.

Neighbors of the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church are upset by noise from church services. Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Houston Chronicle / © 2013 Houston Chronicle

Neighbors of the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church are upset by noise from church services. Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Houston Chronicle / © 2013 Houston Chronicle

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