Pastor Faces New Criminal Charges For Refusing to Stop Housing Homeless People


An Ohio Pastor is again under legal fire and facing new criminal charges for housing homeless men and women in his church.

Attorneys for Dad’s Place Pastor Chris Avell filed a motion Thursday to show cause against Bryan, Ohio, on the basis officials purportedly failed to abide by an agreement requiring them to notify the court if they planned to take any such actions against the pastor.

The lawyers said Friday the city indeed served Avell “with new criminal charges for keeping his church open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

In a press release from First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal firm representing Avell, the attorneys alleged police and fire officials showed up at Dad’s Place one morning this week at 5:30 a.m. for an “unannounced inspection” that once again yielded violations, according to Faithwire.

“[They] alleged fire code violations, and threatened fines of $1,000 per day if the church does not immediately halt its 24-hour ministry beginning on May 1, 2024,” the release said. “This was the second time officials arrived for an inspection at 5:30 a.m.”

Believers Portal reported that “the city of Ohio sent a letter in November 2023, ordering the church to stop allowing overnight guests or face criminal prosecution. the statement continued, “this past Sunday — on New Year’s Eve — police showed up at the church. They handed the pastor a packet of multiple charges and violations.”

Pastor Chris, the pastor of Dad’s Place, a church in Bryan, Ohio, said he’s willing to face those charges for the sake of the church’s mission.

“I was spiritually homeless and God provided a home for me. He’s put a burden on my heart for the homeless. Many of these people have been rejected by their families and cast aside by their communities. So, if the church isn’t willing to lay down it’s life for them, then who will? This is what we’re called to do.”

“The city would rather kick these folks to the curb in the cold outdoor months of December and early January than allow the church to remain open 24/7 to those who need it the most,” Dys said. “It’s unconscionable. We’re going to hold them accountable.”

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