Lansing Church Lockout Heats Up - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lansing Church Lockout Heats Up

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(WLNS) - Things don't appear to be too friendly at the Friendship Baptist Church in Lansing.

The church is red-tagged and *closed* until further notice after members reportedly bolted and chained the doors to keep other members out.

Dozens showed up in their Sunday best to church, but police say no one is allowed inside the building.

Reporter: "It's safe to say the church is shut down?"
Captain: "The church is shut down."

Two different congregations have been sharing the church, meeting at different times- at 7:30 and at 10am, until one group locked down the doors to the building. The group that jammed the locks say the reason had to do with paying the church mortage.

"They haven't been paying any of the expenses and taking care of the upkeep and our congregation has been footing the bill and said enough is enough," says Donald Suttles, who attends the 7:30 a.m. service.

But police and fire officials say blocking the doors violated safety codes.

"On three of the doors they were permanently closed meaning that they used sheet metal, bolts to bolt the door from the inside of the church. Those were very serious," said LPD Captain Darryl Green.

"We decided to take action and basically vacate the building and we're going to tag the building as unsafe until the building is brought up to code," adds Lansing Fire Marshal Brad Drury.

Fire officials say members may be back in the building as early as tomorrow if the building passes inspection.

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