Unlikely Allies

The local church should look for windows of opportunity to ally with both government agencies and business to stem cultural decay.
—Ronald J. Fowler

The bar was called the Green Turtle, a sleazy basement liquor establishment in a weather-scarred apartment building. Here, rumor had it, prostitutes picked up clients and then used the upstairs apartments to ply their trade.

The Green Turtle was on a strip of Arlington Street known to locals as "Satan's Headquarters." The infamous street was lined with bars, infesting the community with drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and gambling.

On Arlington Street was also a church. In the early 1970s, I had become its new pastor, succeeding a long tenure by my father. Shortly thereafter, the mayor contacted me, asking if the church would consider, as part of a minority relocation program, moving closer to the suburbs. The city would make the land available to us at a discount and assist us in its development.

His offer was tempting; a fresh start elsewhere ...

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