Court orders utility to restore power to Christian ministry

By WND Staff

A court in Tennessee has ordered a utility to restore power to a Christian ministry that includes an offer of housing for men who are trying to rid themselves of addictions.

The ruling this week from Judge Thompson of the Circuit Court for Sumner County was on behalf of the Living Water Full Gospel Church and The Father’s House.

The organizations have been in discussions with authorities for several months already over alleged code violations that are in the process of being addressed.

However, recently, and without notification to the ministry or authorities, Tri-County Electric Membership Corp. cut off power to the site.

Officials for the ministry pleaded for a restoration of service, and then went to court.

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The judge said, “Based upon the complaint and petition for declaratory judgment, the affidavit of Dewayne Taylor, and the arguments of counsel, the court finds that … a temporary restraining order is appropriate based on the court’s findings that plaintiffs are suffering immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage and that immediate relief should be granted.”

He continued, “The court specifically finds that a temporary restraining order is necessary for the use and enjoyment of plaintiffs’ property for religious services and related ministry activities, for the housing of residents, and to protect those residents and other ministry recipients who are at risk of losing their sobriety.”

The fight being handled by First Liberty, explained city officials in Westmoreland earlier has issued, then withdrew, a “cease and desist letter” to prevent the ministry from operating.

“Tri-County Electric is abusing the power it wields as a utility provider and force the men who rely on the Father’s House to support their sobriety back on the streets, putting their very lives in jeopardy. We are grateful that the court stepped in…” one lawyer said.

“It’s outrageous that Tri-County Electric cut off and refused to restore power to The Father’s House,” added Ryan Gardner, counsel for First Liberty Institute. “The indifference to the health and well-being of The Father’s House residents is inhumane. A mistake by the electric company may be explainable, but since being informed of its error, Tri-County has refused to take responsibility or do the right thing.”

Living Water Full Gospel Church operates The Father’s House Sober Living, which provides housing and support for men seeking to escape drug addiction. The original code violation issue arose last year, but for several months now, lawyers for the ministry have been working with authorities to resolve those concerns.

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