Posted by CotoBlogzz
Posted by CotoBlogzz
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – The city of Venice Florida officials have determined that Shane and Marlene Roessiger hold a prayer meeting at their residence once per week and has ordered the family to comply with the City's Code which does not allow a "house of worship" on a property of less than 2 acres.
The Roessigers head a small ministry called In Him Healing Touch Ministries and hold a prayer meeting at their residence once per week. Consequently the Roessigers are facing fines of $250 per day for having an unauthorized "house of worship" in their home. Like many small nonprofits, the Roessigers initially chose to get mail at their home instead of renting out a post office box. Venice Code Enforcement officials are using the listing of the residence as the ministry's address to build a case against the Roessigers.
In addition to prayer and Bible study, the Roessigers inistry has food outreaches in the community and engages in foreign missions work. The latter includes ministering to people living in garbage dumps through providing meals and religious services.
In a letter sent by attorney Kevin Snider of the Pacific Justice Institute, the City Code Enforcement Board was informed that
" the corporate address has been changed so that the home address is no longer listed with the Florida Secretary of State. However, this family intends to continue to exercise their rights to the use and enjoyment of their property for prayer and Bible study",Snider wrote.
In an unusual response, the Board continued the matter indefinitely.
"It is difficult to understand how it is illegal to have a prayer meeting on Friday night with a half dozen people but it is alright if I invited the same group on Monday evening to watch Monday Night Football,"said Roessiger.
Shortly after the last hearing before the Board, Code Enforcement cited the residents again for having a small sign in their yard which reads: "Need Prayer (941) 484-4915." Again, the family is being threatened with a $250 per day fine for the illegal sign. The Venice Code makes an exception for political signs, with which the surrounding neighborhoods are strewn.
PJI acknowledges and thank attorney Roger Gannam of the law firm Lindell & Farson for serving as Florida counsel in this matter.