Press Releases

Church Reaches Settlement with Nebraska Village to Build New Facility on Main Street

February 17, 2022

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2.17.22
Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

Church Reaches Settlement with Nebraska Village to Build New Facility on Main Street
Agreement paves way to upgrade dilapidated and undeveloped property owned by local congregation

Walthill, NE—First Liberty Institute today announced it has reached a favorable settlement with the Village of Walthill, Nebraska on behalf of Light of the World Gospel Ministries, a small, multi-ethnic church in the village.  The settlement allows the church to build a multi-use facility on Main Street for worship, ministry and commercial businesses, and comes after the church filed a federal lawsuit against the Village for denials of building and use permits.

“Light of the World Gospel Ministries is thrilled that it can now minister more effectively to the area and help revitalize the community,” said Roger Byron, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “Light of the World will transform dilapidated and undeveloped property into a new space to serve all village residents.  We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice for its help in this matter, and we are grateful to Village officials for reaching this settlement.”

“We are grateful that we can now bring the light and love of Jesus to our community and help revitalize our town,” said Paul Malcomson, Light of the World’s pastor. “We just want to live in peace, worship, and serve our neighbors.”

Light of the World is a vibrant, multi-ethnic congregation of more than 100 people, with many young adults, in a town of less than 800.  The church meets in a converted funeral home on Main Street. Notwithstanding, it lacks space to minister effectively to the needs of this growing congregation, including children, teenagers and its older congregants.

The church purchased several old buildings directly across the street from its current meeting place, hoping to tear down the deteriorating structures and build a church and related facilities to serve the community.  The church filed a lawsuit in 2018 after the Village revoked or denied numerous permits.  In 2020, the U.S Department of Justice filed a separate lawsuit against the Village.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

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