Prayer Request from Pennsylvania Family Institute:
INDEPENDENCE LAW CENTER IN COURT TODAY DEFENDING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
This morning Randall Wenger, Chief Counsel of our Independence Law Center, and Lindsey Hoban, an allied attorney with Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, are in Common Pleas Court in Wyoming County trying a case on behalf of the Northmoreland Baptist Church.
The church recently built a new facility in order to carry on its Gospel mission more effectively. Wyoming County, however, has assessed property taxes for part of the church’s facility, namely the Fellowship Hall. The county claims that such an area is not entitled to a religious exemption. Through our Independence Law Center, our team of attorneys is providing free legal representation to the church in this case, and to make it clear to the court and the county that the church’s activities, such as vacation Bible school, baptismal classes, Sunday school, and fellowship meals are part of the church’s religious mission and that no part of this church’s property should be taxed.
Throughout our Commonwealth’s history, we have recognized that churches are vital to our communities and should be protected from governmental intrusion. However, there is a current trend to ignore this history and the constitutional protections afforded churches as local government seeks new sources of revenue. We are in court today not only to protect the Northmoreland Baptist Church but also to protect the liberty of churches throughout our Commonwealth. As the late Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall famously stated, “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.”
Please pray for Randall Wenger and Lindsey Hoban, for the heart of the judge, and for the opportunity that Northmoreland Baptist Church has to testify to their Gospel mission.
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