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Church fights Texas city's eminent domain push to take land for new fire station. Fun fact: There's already a fire station across the street.

'We just want the city to find another piece of property and build somewhere else'

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

While Canaan Baptist Church is located in south Dallas, the small congregation has had a ministry in nearby Duncanville for the last 15 years, KTVT-TV reported.

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

"We do food drives, clothing drives, church activities," Angie Baker, wife of Canaan Baptist's pastor, told the station. "We feel like this community is underserved."

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

Thing is, there's no church building for Canaan Baptist in Duncanville — but it does have land there, KTVT said.

"This is an empty lot that God gave us," Baker told the station.

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

In fact, Canaan Baptist has been raising money to get a new facility built on the property, the station said.

The problem

The goal sounds simple enough — but the city of Duncanville is complicating it.

See, Duncanville has designs on the property and is trying to seize it using eminent domain to build a new fire station, KTVT reported.

As you might expect, Canaan Baptist doesn't like the idea one bit.

"We have put so much into it, and we just don't want to lose it to the city," Baker noted to the station.

So attorneys for the church filed a motion this week to halt the land seizure, arguing for protections under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, KTVT reported.

"In this particular case, it would require the city to prove that this property is the only property that they can use for their purposes, and it's going to be very difficult for them to prove that," Keisha Russell, counsel at First Liberty Institute, told the station.

Image source: KTVT-TV video screenshot

And about that fire station...

What's more, there's already a fire station across the street from the church's plot of land the city wants to take, KTVT reported.

"We just want the city to find another piece of property and build somewhere else, because we love the property that we've invested in," Baker told the station.

The city of Duncanville told KTVT that the city attorney has received the church's motion to dismiss and will file a response with the court at the appropriate time.

(H/T: Hot Air)

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