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Church Fights Back After Arizona Town Bans Home Bible Study
GILBERT, Ariz. The national Alliance Defense Fund says a town code that bars religious assemblies in private homes in the Arizona community of Gilbert is unconstitutional.
The Oasis of Truth church began meeting at Pastor Joe Sutherland's house in November and rotated homes several times a week for Bible study and fellowship.
A Gilbert code compliance officer hit the church with a violation notice after seeing a sign near a road advertising a Sunday service. A zoning administrator told the church that Bible studies, church leadership meetings and fellowship activities are not permitted in private homes.
The Alliance Defense Fund's Doug Napier says no neighbors complained. The Scottsdale-based group has filed an appeal with the town of Gilbert, contending its code violates the U.S. Constitution.