Pastor Chris Avell is facing criminal charges. His alleged crime? Ministering to the community of Bryan, Ohio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
No matter the time of day, Pastor Chris wants to keep the doors of his church open as a refuge for those in need. But city officials are blocking him from helping the vulnerable. He has been hit with nearly two dozen criminal charges. And First Liberty will not let Pastor Chris stand alone in this battle.
Great news! City officials in Bryan, Ohio agreed to drop all criminal charges against Pastor Chris Avell of Dad’s Place Church. But the legal fight in Bryan, Ohio is not over yet. We must make sure that Dad’s Place can freely serve its community according to its beliefs without being harassed.
What the city is doing to Pastor Chris and Dad’s Place Church is wrong. Accusing him of being a criminal for making his ministry available to anyone in need 24 hours a day is blatant discrimination. It’s unconscionable and betrays what religious liberty in our country is all about.
The city’s antagonism is beyond the pale. Officials have refused multiple times to meet with us and Pastor Chris to resolve the issue. They’ve also made some very discouraging statements about the church, painting Pastor Chris as a criminal and saying that “inappropriate activity” was happening at Dad’s Place.
Houses of worship in America have a constitutionally protected right to serve the people around them… without government threatening or accusing them of criminal behavior.
Join First Liberty today to see that Pastor Chris and his community get the justice they deserve. When you support First Liberty, you not only protect faith leaders like him, but also your own faith leaders and churches in your community.
*If contributions exceed the immediate needs of a specific project or case, First Liberty may redirect funds at its discretion to provide support for other religious liberty matters.
– First Liberty Senior Counsel, Jeremy Dys
This mission is personal for Pastor Chris. He says that serving the most vulnerable is God’s calling for his life, which goes back more than 15 years.
Pastor Chris once considered himself an atheist. In 2009, God changed his mind, his heart and his path. Since then, his passion has been sharing his Christian faith with others. He believes ministering to people in need is what he is called to do.
Singling out sanctuaries like Dad’s Place only hurts our fellow Americans in need. When it comes to helping the marginalized in our country, we should encourage cooperation between church and state. And that starts by the government following the law and treating houses of worship fairly.
After all, when religious organizations are free to live out their faith and serve their neighbors, all Americans win.
God put a special calling on this pastor’s heart. And yet, the government is insisting on criminally charging him and threatening the vulnerable in his community.
Neither you nor I can afford to stand by when everyday Americans like Pastor Chris are punished for living out their faith.
That’s why it’s time to take a bold stand for faith and those in need in Bryan, Ohio.
Will you stand in the fight for Pastor Chris?