Church noise battle heads to Raleigh City Council
Posted June 26, 2012
Updated June 27, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The pastor of Glorious Church in Raleigh's Oakwood Park neighborhood says his congregation is only trying to make a joyful noise for the Lord.
But neighbors who have complained nearly 200 times in the past seven years say the congregation, which meets on Glascock Street, is too loud – so much so that police last month issued Pastor William Spain a citation for a noise violation.
Williams is appealing the ticket, and now, the Raleigh City Council is getting involved.
The council's law and public safety committee met with Spain and John Seitz, who lives next door to the church, Tuesday in an effort to reach a compromise.
Police say a majority of the complaints have come from Seitz.
Both sides last met in January and since that meeting, Spain says, his congregation has exhausted just about all possibilities to please its neighbors, police and God.
The church now only has service on Sundays and has stopped holding revivals, conferences and other events during the week.
"We're told in Scripture to make a joyful noise, but when that noise disturbs the neighbors, what do you do?" Spain said Tuesday. "We're trying to please our neighbors."
Both Seitz and the church plan to meet again next month, they told the council committee.
Neighbors say one possible solution is to soundproof windows to the church, but since the church is having fewer services to accommodate neighbors, the congregation is taking in less money in tithes and offerings.
For now, the committee has asked that no one call police and for the church to worship and praise within reason.
"I've tried to be adamant in my discussions with the city on the issue," Seitz said. “I have to defend my rights to my home, my property and my health.”
The church community is praying the matter can be resolved and hopes it will be by next month.