City Drops Criminal Charges Against Pastor Who Kept the Church Open

February 16, 2024
Bryan, Ohio Drops Criminal Charges Against Pastor | First Liberty Insider

by Jorge Gomez • 3 min read

Great news! City officials in Bryan, Ohio agreed to drop all criminal charges against Pastor Chris Avell of Dad’s Place Church.

Pastor Chris faced nearly two dozen charges. Why? Because he opened his church 24/7 to serve and minister to anyone who needed it.

We want you to hear firsthand from Pastor Chris and members of the congregation. Watch below:

As you can imagine, getting these charges dropped means so much to our client. It means Pastor Chris no longer faces the specter of going to jail just for keeping his church open.

And we simply couldn’t have gotten it done with your support. So, thank you for donating to First Liberty.

The last several weeks have been tough on Pastor Chris. It’s also been hard for the people whose lives are being changed by the congregation’s work. So, we simply can’t thank you enough for every gift, every prayer and encouraging note you’ve sent. It’s THEIR lives that you’re impacting.

Getting the criminal charges dropped was a critical first step. It means the city understands it can no longer use the police to bully Pastor Chris. But the legal fight in Bryan, Ohio is not over yet.

We’re still working out the details to make sure Dad’s Place can keep serving its community without being harassed.

“Ministries like Dad’s Place provide vital public services to their communities,” Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys said. “We will continue our conversations with city officials in hopes that we can find a final resolution where Dad’s Place can continue to serve those in need in its community.”

Stephen Hartman of Spengler Nathanson—our volunteer attorney working on the case—said, “We are encouraged by this initial step by the City in resolving this matter and look forward to talking with the City about how Pastor Chris and Dad’s Place will continue to contribute to the wonderful community of Bryan.”

We’re going into the next phase of this legal battle—and Pastor Chris needs your support. Can he still count on you? You can help him get to that final legal victory…a win that will set him free to do what he does best: share God’s Word and be a comfort to people in need.

Give to First Liberty today.

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