WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Wilson County is sending a clear message to a church that has sparked much controversy over the past year—Global Vision Bible Church (GVBC).
GVBC worships underneath an enclosed tent. According to a county lawsuit, the church has zoning violations.
Meanwhile, neighbors continue to complain about excessive noise and traffic.
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On September 18, Wilson County commissioners passed a resolution asking the state to get involved after the church held an event over Labor Day which brought out thousands of people.
The event created concerns for traffic, health, and safety. According to the resolution, the state knew about the event, and no action was taken.
“I can say it was not a success, and I have a bill right here I’m fixing to send them [Global Vision Bible Church] because it cost $7,500 to pay for that. So, I’m sending them a bill,” said Robert Bryan, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
However, when it comes to the church that worships underneath a tent on Lebanon Dirt Road, neighbors continue to tell News 2 that noise is their biggest issue.
“The church is here where the red dot is, and this is how far the noise carries, this is a 1.2-mile radius. And within this 1.2-mile radius, there are about 8,500 people that live here within 10 different neighborhoods,” said Kylie Blackett.
Blackett’s research began nine months ago after she created an online petition for a noise ordinance in Wilson County. Currently, there isn’t one.
Back in February, News 2 sat down with Pastor Greg Locke, who said he spent thousands on a new soundproof tent.
However, neighbors continue to tell News 2 that the sound hasn’t gone away. So, in July, Blackett and neighbors raised $10,000 to hire an attorney and potentially file a civil lawsuit.
Currently, there are two lawsuits pending against the church. Neighbors directly across the street are suing for noise and water runoff concerns. The Wilson County Director of Development Services filed one for zoning violations.
“We don’t want to be a part of a lawsuit, we don’t want to have to do that in our community. We just want to see peace restored and for people to do the right thing,” Blackett said.
According to the Wilson County Director of Development Services, Tom Brashear, the church is still in violation of the zoning ordinance and stormwater regulations for lack of approved plans and subsequent building and land disturbance permits.
He said the church has submitted a site plan, but the county is still in the process of reviewing it.
News 2 did speak with the spokesperson for Global Vision Bible Church who said over text “according to several officials who have visited us in recent weeks, we are already in compliance with all state statutes and regulations.”