Township shuts down church's ministry to the homeless
Court/Assoc.: U.S. District Court, Western District
Attorneys/Firms: Witold Walczak (ACLU-PA); Nicholas Ranjan (K&L Gates, LLP)
The ACLU of Pennsylvania filed suit Nov. 17, 2008, to defend the right of First Apostles' Doctrine Church, an evangelical Christian church in Brookville, Pennsylvania, to practice its religious beliefs through its outreach ministry to the homeless. The borough recently shut down the ministry by citing the church for zoning violations and voting unanimously to refuse the church's request to resume housing homeless people in the parsonage.
On November 19, 2008, U.S. District Chief Judge Donetta Ambrose signed an order that allows the program to reopen after the borough and the church reached an agreement. In October 2009, the borough agreed to settle the case for $100,000.