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Church noise battle heads to Raleigh City Council

Posted June 26, 2012
Updated June 27, 2012

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— 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."

Church noise battle heads to Raleigh City Council Church noise battle heads to Raleigh City Council

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.


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  • HolyGoloBatman Jun 27, 2012

    You can download the noise ordinance here:


    It is a PDF file.

  • HolyGoloBatman Jun 27, 2012

    Here's a laugh: from

    Please remember that Raleigh places limits on loud music coming from automobiles. Under the ordinance, music must be contained to a distance of no more than 50 feet from the vehicle. Covered under the law are: radios, stereo receivers, cassette tape players, compact disc players and other similar devices. The ordinance particularly is aimed at motorists who drive through residential areas playing loud music. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a maximum fine of $500.

    While the city and the police are willing to go after a church they completely ignore the brazen acts of the hoodlums, hooligans if you prefer, of any race/color/creed who drive around town with their sound systems rattling windows and other cars.

    Some things in life are just screwed up!

    Keep fighting Reverend!

  • storchheim Jun 27, 2012

    Tim, some services last all morning. Well over an hour.

  • Jun 27, 2012

    What are the doing, practicing for an upcoming pots and pans musical?

  • muggs Jun 27, 2012

    Buddist worship in silence and are far more dedicated in their beliefs than any other religious "Organization",maybe some should follow their example.

  • muggs Jun 27, 2012

    I often have wondered why if the Lord knows what you are thinking then what is the reason for all the hoopla that goes on, not just this Church but every Sunday on the pulpit of many others,a couple silent prayers and a passing of the basket it all it amounts to anyway,these are get togethers not religious ceremonies,most these preachers are working up to asking for that "Love Offering" I guess they feel alittle entertainment is required,don't get it.

  • Classified Jun 27, 2012

    “So if this guy where in church on Sundays, where he should be, then he would not hear any noise...problem solved...um, you are welcome..!!” SmokeWagon

    SURVEY SAYS… EWRONGO Einstein! If he were needy enough that he had to go to church to worship some imaginary man, he would hear it all the louder being that he would now be IN the church.

  • storchheim Jun 27, 2012

    "God can hear a whisper." He doesn't even need that. He knows what's in our hearts.

    Remember the Roman centurion who begged Jesus to heal his sick child who was at dying at home, and in a show of faith and humility added, "Lord, I am not worthy that You come under my roof. Merely speak the word, and my child will be healed."

    The power of the Spirit transcends and exceeds the efforts and limitations of our biosuits.

  • dwntwnboy Jun 27, 2012

    "If it had been a frat house, band practice space, or night club, it never would have seen the news"- you are right- they would have been issued at ticket and had to appear in court like everyone else, because this is a "church", then everyone is affraid of stepping on toes. Noise is noise- doesn't matter what the source is, and should be enforced regardless of religion or type of music.

  • LikeABadPenny Jun 27, 2012

    "I can completely understand the position of the church,"

    That makes one of us then. I have never believed I had the right to annoy my neighbors, no matter how long I've lived someplace.