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Future of New Life Evangelistic Center on Shaky Ground

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Men's quarters, top floor of New Life Evangelistic Center. Photo: KMOX

Men’s quarters, top floor of New Life Evangelistic Center. Photo: KMOX

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A fight is brewing over the future of the New Life Evangelistic Center in downtown St. Louis.

The homeless shelter could get its hotel license revoked after 160 people signed a petition complaining of public urination, fights, loitering in the parks and car break-ins blamed on the homeless.

The City’s board of public service originally scheduled a July 2nd hearing, but late Wednesday said the board voted to postpone the hearing indefinitely.

Pastor Chris Rice, Larry Rice’s son, says the city can’t shut them down, because they’re a church. “We would go all the way to the supreme court. Use federal law in order to fight on the grounds of our protection as a church.”

Adding, “we hold services here. Everyday we have Bible studies, for men and woman. We invite other churches to come in on the weekend and serve meals. Our TV station run out of here is for the purposes of evangelism.”

Mayor Francis Slay is among those who are not a fan of the New Life Center, but he stops short of calling for a shutdown.

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