A major showdown between a downtown Orlando church fighting to stay put and the city of Orlando seeking to acquire its land to build new soccer stadium, is looming.
Faith Deliverance Temple, a decades-old African American church, has just hired a top law firm, Brigham Property Rights Law Firm, after failing to reach agreement with the city. The move comes one day after Orlando City Soccer released new renderings of the proposed stadium and months of failed negotiations between the two parties.
The city moved to acquire the land by eminent domain, after the church turned down an offer of $4 million. The church is seeking $15 million.
“When it became apparent we wouldn’t reach an agreement with the city, we made inquiries about how we might fight off eminent domain. We hired attorney Andrew Brigham and made our decision to defend the churches property rights,” said Jonathan Williams, the son of the church’s co-founder, in a statement.
“Faith Deliverance Temple does not want and has not wanted to sell its property,” said Pastor Kinsey Shack, according to news reports.
Earlier, the Florida Civil Right Association called the city’s plan to acquire the church by “eminent domain” to build a new soccer stadium, “morally and constitutionally” wrong.