The New Hope Baptist congregation is taking back their church. Friday afternoon a restraining order expired. It was a measure put in place after a Houston man, Michael Nobles, petitioned a judge to take the property from the congregation because he claims they abandoned it.
"To show up in the middle of a community, a community that has nothing to do with you nothing to do with your life and say that you just happened to see a vacant building that needs to be saved.." said Waverly Nolley, an attorney representing the congregation.
He says since hurricane Ike the congregation has had to meet elsewhere because the building is deemed unsafe, but they still have the title to the property and the right to do with it what they want.
"They have the right to possess it, they've been paying the bills, they've paid everything the law requires them to pay, they've done everything the law requires them to do," said Nolley.
It's why this group showed up Friday afternoon. Nobles was at the property, he says he felt threatened and called police.
In a statement he tells Fox 26 "The new hope Baptist Church was chained up on Sundays: I asked questions and none of the answers added up, so I went to the courthouse to get answers. Apparently, asking questions and seeking transparency is dangerous."
"What he wants tis to steal, and possess this property in his name," said Nolley. Nolley has now also filed a lawsuit against Nobles for trespassing, fraud, malicious civil prosecution and invasion among other things.
"After more litigation by either the attorney general or myself, the truth will eventually be revealed to the public."
The only thing revealed Friday was the loyalty this congregation has for their church. Standing outside in the humid Houston heat they prayed hoping this too shall pass.