• Church loses battle with city over zoning, building codes

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio Ã¢â‚¬â€ Messiah International Ministries lost its dispute with city officials and was forced out of an industrial building where the church met for three years.

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that city officials padlocked the doors, claiming the church unlawfully operated a place of assembly without an occupancy permit, which violated building and fire codes.

Pastors Harold M. and Phyllis Fosh-Carter said the city did not give them much of a chance to respond, even though they operated worship services and training and counseling programs in the building for more than three years.

"Now they have put us in a very awkward position, not because of the church, but the entire training program has been shut down," said Phyllis Carter. The church found another location to conduct worship services.

However, city officials said the Carters knew all along their operation violated zoning laws and building codes. Building Commissioner John Marrelli said the city offered Messiah other locations.

"Their mission was welcome, but their location was inappropriate," he said.

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