“A church congregation that was expecting to share space with another was forced to worship outside on Sunday. Now, the pastor is threatening to take legal action.
The pastor of Powerhouse Church of Indianapolis gave 24-Hour News 8 a copy of the contract he had with The House of God Church to use its facility. He said when they showed up for their first service this morning, they weren’t allowed inside.
A church isn’t just defined by its four walls. It’s defined by the people who worship there. And standing under the sun along Schofield Avenue, members of Powerhouse Church of Indianapolis proudly put that on display.
“We felt God’s presence here. We felt the love of God in spite of, God gave us this beautiful day,” said Pastor Keith McQueen.
That beautiful day was a blessing in itself, since his congregation was expecting to worship inside House of God Church, the building right behind them.
“This was to be our first service here. We had signed a temporary lease for three months to worship here while we were in transition to our next space,” he said. “We gave them money, we had signatures and when we showed up, we were denied access not only to the church, but even onto the property.”
24-Hour News 8 tracked down a phone number for the leaders at House of God and called repeatedly hoping to find out why Powerhouse wasn’t let in, but we never received an answer. Neither did McQueen.
“I was not given a clear reason as to why we could not worship in this facility and I am led to believe that it is because we are an inclusive affirming church that embraces all people, including not limited to the LGBTQI community,” he said.
It’s that accepting mindset McQueen and his congregation showed made clear Sunday morning, standing hand in hand on the pavement outside.
“You know what, we don’t worship a building, we worship God and God is love,” said McQueen. “Therefore, we make love the focal point of our worship experience and that can happen regardless of an address or a building.”