Memphis Housing Authority bans Bible study; lawsuit filed - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Memphis Housing Authority bans Bible study; lawsuit filed

"Psalms 3 and 5," reads Pearlie Jenkins.

If there's one thing Jenkins knows--it's the Bible.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart," she reads.

But now, she's putting some faith in the court system too.

"We want to be a part of building up the city of Memphis, not tearing it down," says Jenkins.

She believes weekly Bible study in the rec room at Barry Towers was helping.  Suddenly, she was ordered to stop after nearly a year.

"You know, I was just told I couldn't do it," says Jenkins.

Jenkins and her non-profit Healing Hearts Outreach Ministries are among those now suing the Memphis Housing Authority, claiming the Bible study ban is unconstitutional.  The national

"Advocates for Faith and Freedom" is helping.  A Bible study group banned from Paul Borda Towers is also on board.

"We just want help of getting back in," says Jenkins.

According to the lawsuit, the reason for getting kicked out was about the "separation of church and state."

Memphis Housing Authority Executive Director Robert Lipscomb declined an on-camera interview.  He tells Action News 5 that tenants can study the Bible or anything else in their own apartments.  However, Bible study is now allowed in community meeting or recreation rooms.

"There's nothing wrong with having church on Sunday," says one tenant.

Lipscomb says some tenants did complain.  But we found only supporters.

"It ain't like we hurtin' nobody," says another tenant.

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,"  reads Pearlie Jenkins.

She's keeping the faith.

Jenkins and the others also want an injunction.  That would allow Bible study to take place while this lawsuit moves through the courts.  We'll let you know what happens.


Click here to send an email to Jason Miles.

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