Sunday, May 24, 2015

[RE-POST] The Facts: Pastor Mike Olive & Common Ground (no 's') Church—What You Need to Know

[This is a re-post. Note that until February 20th, 2015, no one had ever heard of pastor Mike Olive or the Common Ground (no 's') Church. Mike Olive and his church were first introduced to the public in Vol. 1/Issue 6 of Margaret Menge's ALWAYS FREE newspaper. The original post follows:]

An on-line magazine with 2.5 million monthly readers picked up the story about Pastor Mike Olive and the Common Ground (no 's') Church. This is an investigative story by The Raw Story. Here is how The Raw Story is described in Wikipedia:
The Raw Story is an American online tabloid publication founded in 2004 by John Byrne. It covers current national and international political and economic news and publishes its own editorials and investigative pieces.
Here is the title of the story by investigative reporter Travis Gettys:
Right-wing Christians screech about ‘KGB’ spies after city simply checks church’s zoning permit
The title sums up the nonsense being put out there Pastor Mike Olive and the self-described 'editor/reporter', Margaret Menge. Excerpts from the article in The Raw Story:
     The city does not require churches or nonprofit organizations to pay a business license tax, but they are required to obtain a use and occupancy certificate [emphasis added] – which officials use to ensure they don’t pose public safety hazards or break any local, state, or federal laws.
     Olive became alarmed last month, when a code officer stopped by the church and recorded video evidence on his cell phone.
     “We had one gentleman come in from the city wearing a hoodie, and he was hiding the camera in the pockets of his hoodie,” Olive said.
News accounts of the incident compared the code officer to KGB spies and suggested city officials were waging war on religion.
     The code officer, Gerald Coscia, found the church may have been overcrowded and possibly lacked a sufficient emergency exit, and he said the building likely failed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
     He determined that Olive’s landlord, Mission Education International, had a valid business license for the coffee shop with an exemption for charitable organizations, but the church lacked a use and occupancy certificate.
     The conservative Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the city on his behalf, demanding they stop requiring churches to pay for the business licenses.
     The city manager, Mike Bornstein, said the dispute is apparently based on some misunderstanding, because churches are not obligated to pay those fees.
     They are, however, required to submit to inspections to obtain the use and occupancy certificate to ensure they’re safe for public use.
     Liberty Counsel claims in its news release that the city threatened the landlord with foreclosure and daily $500 fines, but the letter sent by officials makes no mention of those penalties.
“Please be assured that the City has the best interests of the public in mind and wants to ensure there are no life safety issues with regard to the operations,” the letter adds.
[The letter referenced is by William Waters, the City of Lake Worth Director for Department of Community Sustainability.]

Thank you Mr. Travis Gettys for getting the truth our there. Pastor Mike Olive and Margaret Menge have done a tremendous amount of damage to our city that we don't deserve. If you're ever in Florida make your way to the little City of Lake Worth and we'll show you how wonderful our City really is.

More fallout from Margaret Menge and 'pastor' Mike Olive:
Kathleen Walter at CBS12/WPEC did a 'news segment' on Mike Olive.
Christians persecuted in Lake Worth?
The "End Times"?
Are you sick to your stomach yet? Want to see more?