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A helluva time with church

The Brooklyn Paper
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Nighttime activities at one Canarsie church have neighbors praying for peace and quiet.

Those who live near the Liberty Hall Cathedral of Praise, 1387 East 96th Street, descended on the September meeting of the 69th Precinct Community Council to voice their troubles and ask for help.

The residents complained of loud events and frequently blocked driveways on their stretch of East 96th Street during the meeting, which was held at St. Alban’s Church, 9408 Farragut Road.

There are late rehearsals, the residents said, and “meetings and church music until 11 p.m. or midnight.” Then, the fun really starts, with those in attendance coming outside “to talk loudly and yell as if it’s 2 p.m., sometimes cursing,” and honking their car horns. “There’s no consideration for the neighbors who are sleeping and have to go to work in the morning.”

Asking those who have parked across residents’ driveways to move their cars is an exercise in frustration, they add. “They come out and come in our faces,” one woman contended. “All we are saying, is can you please move your car?

“It’s not gang members. It’s churchgoers,” she stressed.

“I had a gentleman who wanted to jump me because I asked him to get out of my driveway,” another woman said.

The problems have been festering for a year, said the first woman.

“When my parents have a heart attack, you’ll have a whole crime scene there,” she asserted.

Speaking to the church’s pastor hasn’t helped, they said, because “he claims they are not his congregation. But we feel that if he allows other congregations to use the cathedral, then he is responsible for their actions.”

Captain Milt Marmara urged the residents to let him or the community affairs officers know about such chronic problems.

“Let us handle it so you don’t get involved, so it’s not another crime scene,” he urged.

Subsequently, Marmara told this paper that area residents should reach out to the precinct if they have such quality-of-life problems.

“You can complain anonymously,” he stressed. “But, let us do our job. We are pretty good at solving problems. We can do the legwork. Whether it’s speaking to a person or a church, or doing enforcement, we will get to the bottom line and address the problem.” With respect to the issue faced by the East 96th Street residents, he said, “We’ll resolve their issue.

“That’s what this forum is for,” Marmara added. “We’re here to solicit criticism and solicit problems, and address them as best we can.”

By press time, the pastor of Liberty Hall Cathedral of Praise had not responded to a request for comment.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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