Church, City leaders agree to ban on parties at Club Fathom - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Church, City leaders agree to ban on parties at Club Fathom

CHATTANOOGA -

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- A temporary victory Friday for the City of Chattanooga as a judge issued a 15-day injunction against Mosaic Church and Club Fathom.

This comes after nine people were shot outside the club Christmas day.

Before the court hearing began, both parties came to an agreement: no more large events at Mosaic and Fathom, no activity past 9 PM and no alcohol.

All that will be allowed are church services with no more than 100 people.

"We have succeeded in stopping the violence-producing events, which were our main concern," says Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Littlefield and police Chief Bobby Dodd say they have records dating back to 2006 showing Mosaic Church and its outreach ministry, Club Fathom, are a nuisance, attracting gang activity.

They showed us flyers as an example of parties held there in the past.

"He found that there was a gray area, that he could operate basically a night club that was not a teen club, it wasn't exactly a night club, it wasn't exactly a church," says Littlefield.

Gathering with his supporters after the hearing, Reid maintains he is helping at-risk youth in the city.

"In our own city there's slavery, there's child soldiers and these gangs are kids that are child soldiers," says Reid.

He says the latest surprise inspection of the Mosaic building by the city fire marshal, which found multiple violations, is part of a plot to shut him down. He says they have passed inspection for 10 years.

"It's just so nit-picking coming up with something out of the blue. I know other churches are not treated the way we're treated," says Reid.

"We don't deny he did get special attention because he produced it himself," says Littlefield.

Mayor Littlefield says it is policy to investigate a venue, especially after a major violent event like the Christmas day shootings.

Reid says even though he is shut down for now, he will turn to other churches to help him save troubled youth.

"It's about bringing them in. I still would want to do that. I still have a desire to do that," says Reid.

"I would think anyone would be unwise to allow their space to be used for similar types of events," says Littlefield.

Attorneys for the owner of the building and attorneys representing 'River City Church,' which rents the space, say they do not agree the club is a nuisance, they just want to be in compliance with fire code.

Both sides will have to agree on a date for another hearing to extend the order or go to trial.

The court order effectively cancels the planned New Year's Eve party the club had scheduled for this weekend.

 

Stay with Channel 3 and WRCBtv.com for updates.

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