Christian leaders of an unincorporated town in northern Alabama hope to base its charter on the Ten Commandments and 17 other verses from the Bible.

Under the utopian plan, being proposed by 161 of the town's 600 residents, Brooksville would be run by a group of trustees rather than a mayor or town council. No official would have the power to grant liquor licenses, issue building permits, rezone lands, or levy taxes. Community members would vote in churches.

The effort to incorporate the town is being led by lifelong resident James Henderson, a 56-year-old Pentecostal minister. "In Jesus' time, people helped each other," he says. "That sense of community is what we want to build here."

But Henderson and his supporters have significant obstacles to overcome. "State laws on incorporation require a town to have a mayor and that issues be decided by a council," says Joseph Kettler of the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Henderson is promoting state legislation that would allow every member of the town to have a voice in governing it. "I don't think that they have a great chance of getting this legislation passed," Kettler says.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: