Patrick Herny watched Baptist preachers get whipped to death for refusing to take a license to preach in Virginia. See www.drdino.com and search “Patrick” for the story. John Bunyon pastored a church of 1,000 in England when they passed a law that pastors must get a license to preach. He said God told me to preach and I don’t need your permission. He spent 15 years in jail and wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress.” I don’t know if our situation is the same but it seems to be. The county has closed our DAL buildings by force and many people are upset!
Many homeschools have united to have Operation Continual Coming and invite you to join in. Below is their 6 page plan.
Operation “Continual Coming”
Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.”
What is happening?
Why are the DAL Museum and Science Center closed?
Dinosaur Adventure Land began in 2001 as a part of the Church ministry known as Creation Science Evangelism (CSE). CSE has been working to fulfill the commands of Christ in evangelizing and teaching His Word especially in the area of creation, evolution and dinosaurs since 1989.
The buildings are temporarily closed due to a long standing dispute over building permits. When the buildings were built they were inspected by certified electricians and engineers but the Church felt it was a tax on the Church to pay for a building permit. The entire saga is on www.richardsayshome.com. The county is shutting DAL down because they do not approve of our ministry.
On March 23, 2006, Circuit Judge Michael G. Allen ordered the buildings closed after a 5 year dispute even though the proper parties were never served and the mediation settlement proposal offered by the Church 4 months ago has never been answered. The church ministry has consistently taken the position that the head of the church is Jesus Christ and for the church to pay what amounts to a tax for a building permit is in violation of the Bible and the constitutions of both Florida and the United States.
Remedies at Law manages the ministry to insure everything done here is lawful, safe and glorifies God. Their web site is www.remediesatlaw.com. Glen Stoll 360-658-7685
Rick Lee, in charge of planning and zoning, seems to be determined to stop our ministry. Several have said he is a homosexual with a special hatred for Christian ministries but this may or may not be true. Assume he is an honest individual trying to do his job.
Chief Building inspector Don Mayo and Escambia County Assistant Attorney Allison Perdue Rogers have been asking the court to close down DAL and bulldoze the Creation Museum and Science Center buildings since they opened. The issue has never been one of health or safety. The buildings in question have been open without incident for 5 years, have been inspected by qualified electricians and engineers, have withstood three hurricanes with no damage and have had 60,000 visitors from all 50 states and 70 foreign countries with no complaints, incidents or problems.
Nearly everyone who comes for a visit loves this place and tells their friends to come. The county inspections department has been invited many times to come inspect the buildings and offer any suggestions or advice on issues of concern regarding health or safety. They even obtained an inspection warrant and did come 2 years ago and have reported no problems. The entire issue is one of control over the Lord’s Church. The Church ministry has worked with the county over the years in every way possible to have the county recognize their sincerely held religious conviction but the county will not accommodate them in any way. They seem to have tunnel vision.
What you can do:
The Escambia County Commissioners or Administrator George Touart have the power to stop this madness in 3 seconds with a simple vote as can be seen on www.richardsayshome.com. Download the file “Urgent-Help needed” to get their numbers and addresses. Every letter and call helps. Everyone concerned should be pounding their doors down with complains, calls and letters until this is settled. These “public servants” respond to this like they always have. Mark 12:12 “And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.” They are elected officials who fear the people.
Everyone concerned should be pounding their doors down with complains, calls and letters until this is settled. Home school families can do a “civics” project where they learn about how inspections work and how the commissioners work while they attempt to influence them to leave CSE and DAL alone. This will be an awesome lesson on how government works. You can incorporate the history of separation of church and state. You may also want to teach your kids about how petitions work in influencing politicians. Each family can do their own petition and collect signatures of those who want the county to accommodate the convictions of the church.
Chief Building Inspector Don Mayo can also end this in 3 seconds by issuing a permit and certificate of occupancy in his own name or the name of the county and filing it in their files. He will tell you he cannot but that is not so. He will say Allison Rogers, the assistant county attorney, tells him what he must do. Her Boss is Janice Landers, the head attorney, and all three work for the commissioners who can order them to issue a temporary (or permanent) certificate of occupancy. Any of those groups can fix this. Home school families can do another “civics” project where they learn about how inspections work, the history of the inspections department, which buildings in the county do they not inspect (Federal, State, Indian, foreign embassies, and should be non-501-c-3 churches) while they attempt to influence them to leave CSE and DAL alone. If enough people use the “continual coming” approach they will respond.
Rick Lee, in charge of planning and zoning, needs to have home school families camping on his desk while they do a “civics” project where they learn why some areas need to be “zoned” for a church. In the Soviet Union they have great freedom of religion laws but no property was zoned where they could be exercised. What a subtle way to shut down God’s work! In America it has always been true that Churches are exceptions and do not need to “ask” a secular authority for a place to fulfill the commands of Christ.
The County attorney Allison Rogers or her boss Janice Landers can stop this by simply dropping the case or by asking the judge to suspend his order until further notice. Home school families can do a “civics” project where they learn why some cases are prosecuted and some are not while they attempt to influence them to leave CSE and DAL alone.
Sheriff Ron McNesby can simply refuse to help shut down the Lord’s Church. Hitler’s men should have refused his orders. George Bush told the Iraqi soldiers to refuse any orders to set oil wells on fire. It is unlikely that the sheriff will do this. Home school families can do a “civics” project where they learn about how sheriffs decide which cases to pursue. Learn whether all orders are obeyed and judges orders enforced without question (Hitler) while they attempt to influence them to leave CSE and DAL alone.
Judge Michael G. Allen can stop this in 3 seconds by rescinding his order pending further clarification. There were many problems with the way it was handled. The proper parties were never identified or notified, the jurisdictional challenges have never been answered and the order is very vague. There are many buildings on the property that have never been in question yet the order seems to allow the county to close down everything. The order should be stayed for clarification. The court ordered mediation is still not finished in the parallel case.
- Fast and pray for God to intervene and change hearts.
- Move the DAL ministry to a new county w/clear agreement about issues.
- Close down DAL.
- Get permits.
- Sell ministry to new entity to get permits.
- Sue in court for church rights and take it to Supreme Court if need be.
- Start political pressure on commissioners, boycott Escambia County, letters, emails, pickets, etc.
Any of these people in government can stop this if they would have the courage to do so.
Go visit them unannounced, follow up w/calls, emails, letters, more visits. Encourage other to do the same. Look for sympathetic people we can further work on. Glen Stoll and Bruce Craig are coming next Tuesday to stay as long as it takes to resolve this. They are the managers of the ministry.
Possible questions to ask them:
“Have you read all the stuff on www.richardsayshome.com about this?”
“What can be done to accommodate the concerns of the Church?”
“Would you support a resolution or county ordinance allowing for freedom of religion in Escambia County?”
“Would you introduce such legislation to the next board of commissioners meeting?” If not, why not?
“What is REFRA that Richard talks about on his web site?—- can it be voted into the building code?” “Would you introduce legislation to do this at the next meeting?”
“What is RELUPA that Richard talks about on his web site? —- can it be voted into the building code?” “Would you introduce legislation to do this?” How can this be done?
“The Florida legislature voted years ago to allow Disney to be their own entity and not get permits from the county. It is called the Reedy Creek Development Act. Have you read this? How can DAL get something similar in Escambia County?”
“Don Mayo feels he must force the Church to submit. Are you Don Mayo’s boss?” “Who is?” “Can you tell him to issue a permit and certificate of occupancy without making the Church violate their convictions?”
Did you see the movie “Bug’s Life”? The ants were all carrying their grain along the path when a leaf fell across the path. They panicked and could not figure out what to do until a leader ant came to get them out of their rut. The county is like that in this issue. They need to find a way around the leaf. It is really not the end of the world.
Be sweet, be continual- keep going, calling with follow up questions (Columbo style)
“Don’t tell me it cannot be done, tell me how it can be done.”
“Are you aware of the great loss this will be to the county spiritually and financially if DAL moves or closes? Do you hope they leave? Are there any people that you know of here who hope this happens? This place is a great asset and blessing to our county. Please don’t drive them off with this inflexible attitude. Scores of countries have driven off their brightest and best and caused them to migrate to America just to have freedom to practice their religion. America got a lot of good people this way (including most of our ancestors) and other countries had a great “brain drain.” Escambia County needs to find a way to remedy this issue before it is too late.
If a billion dollar a year business wanted to move into this county wouldn’t you find ways to accommodate their concerns? Don’t counties make exceptions all the time by courting businesses to move in with perks like no property taxes for 10 years or cheaper electric or water rates? Florida did this to attract Disney. Why can’t the county make some simple concessions here? The church is not asking for permission to build things that are unsafe or unhealthy. They asked you to come look at their work. They just have a problem with submitting the church to Caesar.
“Have you ever seen Dr. Hovind’s tapes? Been to his seminar? Have you been to DAL?”
“Could it be that he is a man of God and the ministry there is of God and they are right?”
In general, don’t answer their questions. You are there to get information. The one asking the questions is in charge. They are the “public servants.” They work for you. Why are they being lazy in their job?
Don’t leave with them thinking you are satisfied with their answer. “Thanks for your time, I will do some more research on this. Can I have a time to meet with you this afternoon? How about tomorrow? The next day? Who else can I talk to, to get this resolved?” Remember, these people are politicians. They are often slick talkers and know how to weasel out of blame and responsibility.
The inspectors and commissioners should have so many people camping out at their office that they are afraid to visit their own office. If they are gone just say, “I’ll wait right here until they return.” Bring some school work or a book. Get to know their secretaries and keep calling. Be nice but firm. “I want to talk to them face to face.” When this is over we want them to be our friends and bring their families to DAL.
Report back to Jana Schmidt w/ideas, obstacles, progress, leads.
Keep a diary of who you saw, when, what was said, what was accomplished.
“I keep reading that the county says, “The buildings need to be ‘in compliance.’” What if they are “in compliance” with all the codes except the paperwork, why can’t that be fixed in some less draconian way?” The buildings have been used by tens of thousands of people for 5 years, been inspected 5 times already and stood through 3 hurricanes. Isn’t it obvious they are fine?
Do you know of any serious health or safety issues that I should be worried about? My kids go there often. The county got an inspection warrant 2 years ago and came to inspect at that time. What problems did they find?
How much time, energy and money has the county spent on this?
How much of God’s money has the Church had to spend on this?
Do you know what a hardship this closing of the buildings is on the ministry?
It was banks and insurance companies that pushed for permits years ago to be more certain the buildings they were risking their money for were not going to lose them money from shoddy construction or electrical fires. (see I Tim 6:10). The other main purpose of permits is to raise taxes. Since there is no loan on the buildings and insurance is not an issue and the buildings are Church property and non-taxable, why is this even an issue?
I can understand why permits might me needed for public property or to insure builders are honest when building for others. Why is this needed for private property? If the answer is, “to be sure it is safe if it gets sold.” Then why don’t buildings that are inspected get a special seal of approval which will notify the buyer and raise the value? Thousands of buildings in the county did not get inspected. Most pre-1975 building were not inspected at all. Do these ever sell? Many counties in America have no building permits at all. The same is true of most other countries in the world.
Is it true that your inspections department is totally funded by the permit fees and fines? Is their a financial incentive to not recognize the church as being exempt from the fees? See I Tim 6:10.
“Have you read the proposed settlement the church sent the county 4 months ago? Why didn’t they answer and what is wrong with it?”
The church has asked for a list of defects you see in their property. Where is this list?
Road Blocks to watch for:
Some officials may say, “This was done by court order and we cannot talk about it or change it.”
This is bologna! In the case of the commissioners it was their actions that caused the court order! They cannot change the court order and we are not asking them to. The court said the buildings are to be closed “until the inspections department is satisfied.” The commissioners can order their inspections department to issue a certificate of occupancy and the problem is over. The commissioners do run the county don’t they? Or they can vote to incorporate REFRA or RELUPA into the code to allow for freedom of religion and the problem is over. They can vote to exempt the Church like federal and state lands.
If they will not make an appointment to talk about it go to their office anyway! They caused this and can stop it. Don’t let them hide behind the court order!
The same type answer applies to the building inspections department. Don’t let them say they are just enforcing a court order. They asked for the court order and can issue the permit and certificate of occupancy in 3 seconds and the court order is moot!
Don’t let them get by with the run around- “It is not my job.” Yes it is. Have you done all you can to fix this? If you can’t then who can? The inspectors say the attorney told them to do this. The attorney says the court ordered it. The court says the inspectors asked for this to be done!
If they say, “The courts have ruled that they must get a permit.” I would say, so what? Court decisions get reversed all the time. They are not God. Also, I am not asking you to reverse the court decision but to solve the conflict that created the court decision. Give the Church a permit or certificate of occupancy.
The inspectors will say they are just enforcing the laws as given by the commission and the commission will say the building inspections department handles inspections. In reality, either or both could fix the problem.
Please contact home school mom Jana Schmidt for further information on helping DAL:
850-492-9292 or (443) 414-5262
The addresses of those who need letters and emails is on www.richardsays.com under Urgent