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Won U.S. District Courts

Faith Center Church Evangelistic Ministries v. Glover

Federal judge rules Calif. library can't ban meeting it labels 'religious services'

The #1 Thing Your Church Board Should Do Next and How It Can Help Protect Religious Freedom


A federal judge ruled in 2009 that Contra Costa County officials cannot prohibit a Christian ministry from accessing the Antioch Branch Library in Antioch, Calif., simply because government employees consider their meetings to be "religious services." ADF attorneys filed suit on behalf of Faith Center Evangelistic Ministries and its leader, Hattie Hopkins, in 2004, arguing that the ban was unconstitutional. Although Hopkins was initially permitted to hold meetings at the library in two dates in 2004, library officials informed her toward the end of the first meeting that the ministry could no longer meet there because the county's policy stated that "library meeting rooms shall not be used for religious purposes." The library later narrowed the policy to only prohibit meetings it deemed to be "religious services." In an opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the library is permanently barred from enforcing its "religious services" policy.

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