Founded in 1875 as a center for mediums, psychics, and other Spiritualists, the community of Cassadaga, Florida, has always had a unique character. And when John Ferro tried to build a Christian church—the town's first—residents complained it would disrupt the town's "spiritual vibrations" and subject them to unwelcome evangelism. (Other residents said they didn't fear the church, which has a regular attendance of 20, but worried about rumors it would offer a drug rehabilitation center.) After filing a federal lawsuit in May 2001, the church was granted approval in September, and the county agreed to pay the church $38,000 in legal fees. "I guess we don't have any other option," council Chairwoman Ann McFall told The Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, Ferro has tried to show goodwill by attending a Spiritualist service, which he described as "a little different." "We just believe the Lord said we were going to be here," he later told WESH-TV. "And we were moving on what he said to us."

Related Elsewhere

Other coverage includes:

Christians win right to build in CassadagaOrlando Business Journal (Sept. 30, 2002)
A town of psychics didn't want a church; they didn't foresee a suitThe National Law Journal (September 30, 2002)
Reverend wins right to build church in Cassadaga—WESH Florida (Sept. 20, 2002)
County approves settlement, allows church right to locate—Associated Press (Sept. 16, 2002)
Church wins right to locate in spiritualist town—Liberty Counsel Press Release (May 31, 2001)
Christian church files federal lawsuit after being denied right to start a church—Liberty Counsel Press Release (May 31, 2001)

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