Residents of Cedars try to shut down event in the midst of Help the Homeless Week

For the last seven years, Friendship-West Baptist Church has held an event on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving offering assistance to the homeless, who they (we) refer to as VIP's.  The event kicks of each Wednesday night with a church service a couple of hours after dusk followed by a meal provided to those who are living on the streets.  Throughout the night, men of the church are on the street ministering to those in need all the way through the morning.

Around 10 am on Thanksgiving, a larger portion of the congregation comes down for a larger meal and ceremony for those on the streets.  This year the church is calling the event "The Lord's Wedding Banquet." 

Friendship-West, like other churches in Dallas, have tried to help as best they could with the city's homeless situation.  Of course Dallas is in the midst of building a new $21 million Homeless Assistance Center.  Last week, Larry James and Central Dallas Ministries designated November 11-17 as Help the Homeless Week.    

The residents of the Cedars area, in the southern portion of downtown, are not excited by the Friendship-West event.  Here's a series of communications between a Cedars resident to the Dallas Police Department Lieutenant last week.

(To Dallas Police Lieutenant) 

Thanks for the information, and for your help in this matter.  I'll forward this message on, and hopefully we can get this stopped for good.  In the event that some one person does give permission for this event to held on their property, can we as stake holders in the Cedars, still get it denied on the premise that, one persons decision should not be allowed to be a detriment to the rest of the neighborhood as a whole.
Thanks again for your help in this matter.

(From Resident)

(To Resident)

I'm sure you could get it denied.  It would just take a community effort of documentation and/or emails.

(From Police Lieutenant)

(To Dallas Police) 

I received an e-mail detailing an event that Friendship West Baptist church is trying to organize in the Cedars area of Dallas. I am a member of the Cedars Neighborhood Association, and a l own property in the Cedars. While I do not necessarily object to a church wanting to help individuals in the Dallas area, I feel that it is unfair to the citizens of the Cedars, to have the churches' "Lord Wedding Banquet" imposed on us.

The church has listed an address for this event of 1990 S. Ervay. There is no such address in Dallas. They also claim that the supposed lot is a vacant "City of Dallas" lot. I've checked with the Dallas Central Appraisal District, and there are no "City of Dallas" lots from 1700 to 2100 S. Ervay, except for "The Dallas Heritage Village". All the rest are privately owned lots. We have many residents in this area of Dallas, and the noise, trash, and crowds that an event like this always brings, is not welcome by myself, and I believe most of the others residents of the Cedars. (Incidentally this same church was a disturbance to this same neighborhood last year.)

The church seems to be trying to squat on a private piece of property, in a neighborhood that is not inviting them, to hold an event that will be a nuisance to it's residents. I would respectfully ask that you Turn Down Their Request. If the Friendship West Baptist Church really wants to have this event, they should send buses to bring the people to property they actually own, at 2020 Wheatland Rd., where their church is located. I'm sure none of their neighbors will mind the noise, trash, and crowds they generate at this event, but if the neighbors do mind, at least it's on the churches land, in the churches neighborhood.


(To Cedars Resident)

Okay Folks,
        Help me get the word out to your friends and neighbors.
        The Lord's Wedding Banquet scheduled for Wednesday, November 21st, and Thursday, November 22nd has been
        HOWEVER, there is one caveat.
        If they get approval from the landowner at 1990 S. Ervay or ANY landowner in 'The Cedars,' it can still be approved.        

(Dallas Police Lieutenant)

(Not sure who this is to) 

We received a copy of the application for 'The Lord's Banquet' event to be held on November 21 and 22, 2007. The stakeholders in my area are very much against it. I will be fowarding all their emails to you to make you aware of their request that the application be denied. See below.


(Dallas Lieutenant of Police)

Helping the homeless is apparently now considered a "nuisance."  I mean who would want to allow "this type of activity."

Make what you want of the above communications, but I'll say that a door has been opened, and the event will go on as planned.  Thanks to the Waycross Baptist Church and their pastor, Rev. Alvin Jackson, SR, Friendship-West will serve the VIP's as scheduled.  Pastor Jackson has opened the church parking lot for "The Lord's Wedding Banquet."  I will post information on how interested parties can participate later in the week.

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