Friday, February 23, 2001

Mega-church headed for Fairburn

Fairburn is set to get its first mega-church.

Last week, the Fairburn City Council approved the concept for St. John's AME Church, near the town's historic downtown.

The church features an 800-seat assembly hall and city planner Bill Johnson said the project would enhance neighboring property values. He recommended the city approve the structure, but add 20-foot planted buffers around the perimeter and make sure that all site lighting is directed down, so it won't interfere with any residents in adjoining neighborhoods.

Councilman Gene Wiggins agreed with the concept of the church, but wondered if any restrictions could be placed on the church to insure it serves only as a place of worship.

"From what I'm hearing, people don't want a Kreflo Dollar church here," he said.

Wiggins wanted to make sure that various ministries don't start forming out from the church and the site being crowded on a daily basis.

But both Johnston and City Attorney Brad Sears said it would be very difficult for the city to limit what type of ministries the church could do.

Wiggins said it was just something he had on his mind and didn't want it interpreted as he was against the church.

The measure passed the City Council unanimously and now will return to the Planning Commission when a site plan is completed.


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