Church Now Allowed to Worship in Coffee Shop It Owns After Maryland City Changes Zoning Law

Ragamuffins Coffee House, a nonprofit coffee shop owned by Redemption Community Church, located in Laurel, Maryland. | (Photo: Facebook/Ragamuffins Coffee House)

A Maryland city has reversed a zoning law that prevented a church from holding worship in a coffee shop that it owned.

In February, Redemption Community Church, which oversees a non-profit coffee shop called Ragamuffins Coffee House, sued the city of Laurel over a zoning law mandating that it to undergo a “costly” and “uncertain” special exception that non-religious assemblies do not have to do.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm that was representing Redemption Community, announced Wednesday that Laurel reversed the zoning law and now allowed the church to hold worship at the shop.

Laurel city officials also changed other local commercial zones to eliminate any possible similar litigation, according to the ADF.

“The city told Redemption Community Church to either stop holding worship services or pay severe fines, but this lawsuit prompted officials to understand that both federal law and the First Amendment prohibit this sort of discrimination,” stated ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb.

“The church is now free to worship in and serve the community from its own building on the same terms as everyone else.”

Originally called Covenant Presbyterian Church, Redemption Community decided to move to the downtown Laurel area and set up a non-profit coffee shop to minister to the poor.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski