Churches used to be part of the community. Now, many are communities unto themselves, and their greed for more land often overwhelms neighborhoods who just want to be left alone.
The pastor made appeals from the pulpit. Paper, pens and envelopes were distributed at Bible study. Helping hands stuffed inserts into service programs. And the copy machine sang like a Sunday choir.
The result was a campaign that sent 6,000 letters to Cobb County public officials as Johnson Ferry Baptist Church flexed its muscles to promote its plan to build a new church.
The 25-year-old church, which has about 7,500 members, has an ambitious goal. The plan, a joint project with WellStar Health Systems, would place a church, a medical facility and retail buildings on U.S. 41 near Awtrey Church Road in northwest Cobb. ...
Church members realize they face a smaller, though formidable, band of opponents. About 250 residents in that west Cobb area signed a petition against the project. Many of these foes defeated the Goliath of suburban encroachment — Wal-Mart — when it wanted to build on this very site two years ago.
They assert that the plan for the 65-acre parcel is not in keeping with the character of their rural-residential area, which has been giving way to suburban growth. They've created a Web site to fight it, from which, with a few clicks, scores of people have sent form e-mails to the public officials.
Why not just attach a Golden Corral and a Starbucks to the sanctuary and be done with it.
"When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: 'Get out of here.' (John 2:13-16)