Church Revival Voted Down By Godfrey Village Board
GODFREY - Godfrey trustees unanimously voted down a request from Mike Logan Ministries to host a church revival in Glazebrook Park at their last meeting, citing issues of cost, insurance, and potentially setting a dangerous legal precedent for the village.
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“I don’t believe that parks should be used for reasons other than for recreational purposes,” Trustee Ben Allen said. “I think that private property can be used if you want to do what you want to do. I think that other churches have property, you might work with them … I respect everything you’re doing, but I’m sorry, you don’t have my vote on this.”
Trustees Jeff Weber and Virginia Woulfe-Beile both agreed. Pastor Mike Logan responded by saying he believes the event would be a “good cause for the community,” and that he’s “pretty well known.”
“I can’t present the amount of people that would be there, but I think it would be a good cause for the community, I really do,” Logan said. “It would draw good attention, good attention. I’m pretty well-known in the community, it would be a great advertisement.”
When asked if he was prepared to take on the expenses of providing enough bathrooms for hundreds of people, any property damage that might occur, the cost of hiring police officers to work overtime at the event, and more, Logan responded that he has several community sponsors and that his church has their own “security team.”
“I have sponsors in the community that are willing to help out and different churches have their different security teams within each church, so I have spoken with pastors [and] I think we’re ready to tackle whatever is coming forth,” Logan said. “We will have our own security team on-site … I just believe it’d be a great thing for the community.”
Village Attorney Phil Lading said allowing Logan to host a church revival in Glazebrook Park would set a dangerous legal precedent for the village, because they wouldn’t be able to “pick and choose” which groups are allowed to use the park in the future - even if the village doesn’t align or agree with some of those groups.
“I think the issue … is that you can’t necessarily pick and choose moving forward who you want to have use the park for these kinds of purposes,” Lading said. “It could create some liability for the village if somebody had applied for a similar use and was turned down because the village didn’t like the message or the group or whatever it was at that time.”
Allen agreed, adding: “What if a group of Nazis came in and wanted to have an event, and we said ‘No, that’s against everything we stand for?’”
Logan tried easing trustees’ concerns by saying he had liability insurance worth $1 million and that St. Peter’s Hardware & Rental would be liable for the tent. Allen responded that the village would actually be liable for any injury that occurred because the park is village property, and again suggested he host the event on private property to avoid “putting the community at risk.”
When asked if the village had ever denied a request like this in the past, Economic Development Director Jim Mager said that years ago, the Parks and Recreation board denied a request for a church revival, as well as requests from both the Republican and Democratic parties to host campaign fundraising events.
Logan concluded by saying similar events have been held in Alton, so he wanted to do something similar and “bring some light to Godfrey.”
“Alton has done this before, down by the boat at the amphitheater, okay? So it has been done in the area,” Logan said. “I just thought I’d bring it to Godfrey, to bring some light to Godfrey. If not here, we’ve got other venues that we can probably go to … it has been done in Alton.”
“We do a lot of stuff different than the City of Alton does,” Weber responded. “We pay our bills on time.”
The request was ultimately voted down unanimously. A full recording of the April 18 meeting is available at the top of this story, on Riverbender.com/video, or on the Riverbender.com Facebook page.
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