– The Washington Times – Thursday, May 12, 2022
Parking for traveling ministers is part of church’s ‘hospitality ministry,’ pastor says
A Colorado pastor says allowing traveling ministers to park their RVs in his church parking lot and connect to utilities there is part of his congregation’s “hospitality ministry” in place for more than 30 years.
But the city of Pueblo, Colorado, says the Rev. Paul Elder and the Christian Growth Center church are violating a city ordinance that calls for fines of up to $1,000 per day and a year in jail for each day the roaming ministers are there.
The city says its zoning regulations state a recreational vehicle can only park in the city’s designated, for-pay parking lots. Mr. Elder says the church has been providing the hospitality service for more than 30 years, and that the city had permitted the water, electrical and sewer connections the church installed in its current location in 2011.
“They knew that we had RV hookups there,” Mr. Elder said in an interview. “And for 10 years, we parked RVs regularly there with no one from the city ever came out and tried to make a stop. So it was a bit of a surprise when we were cited last year,” he added.
Mark A. Kellner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.