Commissioners Hear From Spring 2 Life Opponents, Proponents

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Not in our neighborhood.

That was the message a group of Hill Creek Rd. residents delivered to the Cannon County Commission Saturday regarding an addiction recovery center that is in the process of establishing a facility in an established residence on the road.

About an equal number of people turned out in support of Spring 2 Life, including Cannon County citizens who have or are currently benefitting from the program at its facilities in Rutherford County.

While there are apparently no steps the County Commission can take to prevent Spring 2 Life from providing its services to people who want to attempt to overcome their addiction here, Commissioner Kevin George rather bluntly assessed the situation when he stated, “Anything new scares us (Cannon Countians).”

Pastor Erik Hines, president of Spring 2 Life, tried to sooth the concerns of area residents.

“We have two homes in Murfreesboro and we have had no complaints or problems with neighbors in six years,” Hines said.

Hines said the Christian addiction recovery program is from 4 to 6 months in length and that it does not accept sex offenders or violent offenders. Residents are not allowed to leave the home without supervision during the course of their treatment.

“We are prepared to address complaints,” Hines said. “We want to be good neighbors.”

Residents of Hill Creek Road are concerned about safety issues associated with having so many (up to 15 at a time) recovering drug and alcohol addicts living in their vicinity, increased usage and possible contamination of well water, and additional traffic on the road.

“(911 Director) Roy Sullivan said this increase in traffic on such a narrow road will be a danger to us all,” Melanie Pitts said.

They also fear the recovery center will decrease the value of their property.

Bob Davenport said he hoped the County Commission would continue with its efforts to implement zoning laws and building codes so that citizens are not presented with situations of this nature in the future.

“It saddens me a wonderful community like ours has to pound the pavement to press our county commissioners to keep these kind of people out of our neighborhood. Our area is not the right place for this type of facility. I do hope (zoning) changes will be made."

According to its website, "Spring 2 Life is a faith based discipleship program that specializes in biblical addiction recovery. S2L helps people discover freedom from substance abuse, peace in their family and rediscover a passion for living again. S2L desires to show people how much joy is found in living as a true disciple of Christ.

As one of the fastest growing Christian Addiction Recovery Centers in the Mid South, Spring 2 Life works with families and individuals from all walks of life in finding true peace and lasting FREEDOM from addiction and life controlling behaviors."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The discussion about Spring 2 Life came at the end of Saturday's quarterly commission meeting. See next week's Cannon Courier for a full report on the meeting.

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Members Opinions:
January 14, 2012 at 4:32pm
These kinds of people???? Out of the neighborhood??? They better check out a lot of their neighbors that are there already! Saddens me that the pious population of Cannon think they have risen above the law of Christ. " Love thy neighbor as thyself " and "they that are without sin cast the first stone"! But as always here in Cannon, anything new or different or out of the " good ol' boys'" routine just seems to be doomed for failure or complaint. I personally hope that this facility does provide help and comfort and a way out of a bad lifestyle for these people. Because they are humans and our fellowman or woman who maybe, just maybe, can become a productive citizen again with some caring from people who actually have a compassion for those less fortunate. I bet a lot of those opposed to this sit on a big church pew every Sunday and give true Christians a bad name.
January 14, 2012 at 6:53pm
"They better check out a lot of their neighbors that are there already!" you beat me to it junebug18

“Anything new scares us (Cannon Countians).” first time I've heard someone say it out loud.That should be right under all the signs on the county line.
This is also one of the reasons you will never see zoning laws here.Don't hold your breath on that one.
January 14, 2012 at 9:44pm
I agree with junebug18,we are all humans and make mistakes. Good, Bad,& Worse,plus ugly. Thay are out there.
January 14, 2012 at 10:06pm
throwing that stone at you neighbors or yourself?
January 14, 2012 at 10:34pm
Yes, most all of us there were Christians. We are mostly against the amount of unsupervised felons there at one time. Has anyone put 15-30 animals in one small pen before? If not, I bet you know what would take place when you do. We are very proud to see people trying to help others with addictions, but in a controlling manner. Our county commissioners need to implement zoning laws and building codes for the future for these facilities in rural areas.
January 15, 2012 at 7:54am
Well said mustangs. I, too, was at the meeting. Why do some people deliberately miss the message we are trying to convey? Again, for the dense, we are NOT against rehab. Just the location.
January 15, 2012 at 8:23am
This is Keith Ready from WBRY 1540AM/96.7FM. This Spring2Life is a hot topic. I have had the leader of the program as well as one of the concerned citizens on the morning show recently. Monday, I'm going to discuss guests this time...just me. I will replay the segment from the meeting itself and talk about comments that people have commented here on this story and other stories regarding Spring2Life I'm on from 6A-9A but the segment itself will be on at 8:30. It will be very informative and I'll try to make it as entertaining as always. So join me Monday morning especially at 8:30 and we'll talk Spring2Life.
January 15, 2012 at 8:32am
Zoning laws will have little affect on a place that operates under the umbrella of a church.

You can restrict until you are blue in the face but a place considered a church will still be able to operate anywhere it wants.

These guys are a non-profit organization, they are not turning away anyone who can't pay, they have a 501(c)3 non-exempt status by the federal government and Mr. Hines stated yesterday they were part of their church and recieved help from that church.

No zoning laws implemented will be able to stop anyone from doing exactly what they are doing because they are not considered a business and they can build or live on commerical, industrial or residental land if they spend the money and buy the place.

I listened yesterday to everything Mr. Hines said. I think it best we give him and the group he supports the benefit of the doubt and let them live peaceably and without judgement until they prove they otherwise. At the end of the meeting I walked over and shook his hand and said Welcome to Cannon County which is what I would hope everyone would do.

Kevin was spot on when he said "anything new in Cannon County scares us". I will add that a lot of things "old" scares the crap out of us as well.
January 15, 2012 at 9:25am
Thanks to everyone that supports S2L, and even those who don't. We sincerely appreciate all your concerns and will be the best neighbors ever. People will see this in time, our reputation will stand true. We love you Cannon County.
Pastor Erik
January 15, 2012 at 9:36am
Again, thanks to everyone that supports S2L, however I must say that the one comment (from mustang) that compared my guys to caged animals??? How could u say that my guys are like animals? These guys are people who have a heart and some of them were there yesterday at the meeting and were discouraged to hear people's fear of them as if they were less than human. Our prayers are for u people who see your fellow man in that light. That is sad!
Pastor Erik
January 15, 2012 at 12:48pm
Obviously, "mustangs" who claims, they were at the meeting, were not listening! Pastor Erik, assured everyone...there will never be a time when any of the guys will be unsupervised. I also agree with Pastor Erik for defending "his guys" when you compared them to "animals in a pen", then call themselves "Christians". That is not "Christ Like" in any sense of the term! I heard that term used very loosly yesterday. Every one of the "opposers" claimed to be Christians, but were more concerned about, shooting their guns, riding 4 wheelers, or hunting. (I'm sure that's not the only place in Cannon County to do those things). The look of discouragement on the faces of the young men, who reached to this Ministry for help, is heartbreaking. The Concerned Citizens, made them feel unworthy and undeserving of a second chance, and they did this after proclaiming to be Christians. I'm thankful, that Jesus did not see all humanity the same way those people do. They are Christians, as long as nobody gets in their comfort zone. They put a value, and a very low value, on a human life. It was shameful. Makes me sad to be viewed in the same definition as a Christian.
January 15, 2012 at 10:03pm
Mr. Hines, please allow me to be the first to tell you that I was not in any fashion comparing what you call, "your guys" to animals. It was very clear to you that 15-30 animals in a cage would be very disturbing. The desire to add communication,drugs,gang relations to the equations is very clear what could take place in our community. It would be very offensive to me if I was classified as one of "your guys" instead of by name.
January 16, 2012 at 6:55am
Well, these guys are "my guys" and I love them with every ounce of myself, we are like one big family. I do not wish to argue with u about this, I (along with many others) was hurt by your comparison of "my guys" to caged animals. Please let's all put this behind us and move forward in peace, grace and Christ.
Pastor Erik
January 16, 2012 at 10:11am
Has everyone forgotten that we already have a rehab home in the county? I can tell you, I would much rather have someone wanting to get help living close to me than the people at the other home. I know for a fact ( I will not give names) but, for some of the men at the current home- it wasn't that they wanted to go the this facillty to get help, it was the only option except prison. I guarantee you, each of you have been in the stores with some of the guys,as far as I know, no one was robbed or assaulted (not by these guys anyway).

I can only wish I was a perfact as you people that have decided that just because someone has an addiction- that he is a bad person. Don't judge someone unless you have walked in his shoes.

I don't know where each of you live; but, wow! to have such perfect neighbors all around you must be amazing.

January 16, 2012 at 10:04pm
Not one person as the meeting on Saturday said that any of the men who are receiving treatment from this facility didn't deserve a second chance at having a new beginning. (You never know it may be one of our family members one day.) The point is when you are putting a facility into a rural community you should have consideration to your future neighbors to seek out their opinions and concerns ahead of time. If you were going to be my "new" neighbor. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to meet with and hear your visions for this treatment center before it was just slid in under the my nose (if you are in my area). We in Cannon County live here because we choose to, not because we have to. Respect thy neighbor....That is all that most of us ask.

As far as all you saying that you wouldn't want to be like any of the "Opposing Christians" The family members I was suppporting at the meeting are Christians. So you shouldn't point fingers or make judgements because even as Christians we are "all" still entitled to have opinions and concerns. That is what makes us all individuals.

To all the county need to get the restrictions and zoning laws in place before something goes into our county or neighorhood that we can't handle. You say "It takes time"...well that is the "umbrella" you gentlemen are operating under.
January 17, 2012 at 6:45am
People keep suggesting that if Mr. Hines had went and asked each member of the community what they thought of the idea of housing a rehabilitation center prior to buying the house that everything would have been sweet as honey and there would not have been as much uproar. What a load of baloney!

Perhaps he could have advertised it more. Perhaps he could have even brought it to the commissioners beforehand, but let's be honest. Even had he done all of those things it would not have changed the opinions of anyone who lives in the area because it is obvious no one wanted it so asking beforehand wouldn't have made any real difference.

Zoning laws would not help this situation at all. Anything that operates under the umbrella of religion or church is almost always exempt from 99% of the laws made.

If anyone thinks Cannon County zoning laws would have helped then I suggest you look at the building of a Muslim Mosque in Rutherford County and see how well that turned out for them.
January 17, 2012 at 7:48am
I certainly do agree with and applaud Corey! It would not have changed the opinions of anyone, had Pastor Erik went door to door! Its time to unite as Christians. Pastor Erik's job is hard enough, without having to deal with judgemental neighbors. I think it was Corey who also mentiond before, that these guys deserve a chance to prove themselves. Maybe these neighbors have a certain degree of responsibility to welcome their new neighbors...I know all the guys in the program. They have worked on my property many times, and they are awesome! I very much enjoyed and appreciated all the hard work they did. I hope to have them back next spring!
January 17, 2012 at 8:09am
I agree with Corey. Had Mr. Hines gone and "asked permission" from the to be neighbors-the response would have still been "no way". I think this would have only been worse because then the neighbors would have been screaming, we told him we didn't want the facility here and he put it here anyway.
Just saying: when we bought our house here in Cannon County we didn't go and ask each neighbor if it was ok for us to move there.
January 17, 2012 at 10:10am
i also agree but i differ in that codes could and should hold standards for group homes, no matter their tax status, especially in a residental setting.
January 17, 2012 at 11:36am
I agree with you Bud that codes should hold certain standards for group homes, but in this case it is not considered a business since it is in every essence of the word a "church" sponsored program.

From what I understand the house was bought with money by that church and will be supervised by members of that church.

Bobby Smith was asked Saturday if it was considered a business and the answer he gave was no. They are not even required to have a business license.

I want to believe that the people in rehabilitation can get better and live peaceably without any trouble. I also want to believe they will be given the chance by our community to do what they say they are going to do without the fear of being harassed.

By the way rmaynard I mean no disrespect, but it is not "respect thy neighbor", it is "Love thy neighbor as thine own self".

It is the second greatest commandment we are given.
January 17, 2012 at 12:46pm
Amen to that Corey! Proverbs 21.10 also says, " Wicked souls love to make trouble; They feel nothing for friends and neighbors" (The Message Bible). That concerns me for the young men at this location, in this Program. It certainly is not this way in Rutherford County. The citizens here, have embraced this Ministry. They are certainly an asset to this community. They are shown love and acceptance. And yes, they are located in downtown Murfreesboro, on Maple Street, in a very established residential neighborhood.
January 17, 2012 at 9:02pm
I agree with most of the things you guys are saying,but there are still some people desperately trying to turn this into a christian against christian, rehab versus no rehab.That is simply not the case. As long as this way of thinking clouds the issues, nothing will ever get accomplished. I have talked to many people in Cannon County, not one person has been against rehab or treatment. With all the unresolved issues you would think that spring2life would have at least researched their utility's before they bought the property. I believe Cannon County must have codes and restrictions put into place, the sooner the better.
January 17, 2012 at 10:08pm
codes can be placed on residents and businesses
January 18, 2012 at 6:02am
Yes codes can be placed on residents and businesses I agree. However, this rehab center does not qualify as a business (straight from the mouth of Bobby Smith)and is in every sense of the word a church based program that would have a very difficult time being held to any code.

My example would be to look at the Mosque in Rutherford Co. Every code, regulation and law was thrown at it trying to prevent it from being built and it went to court and Judge Corlew upheld the right of the Mosque to be built despite all of those codes, zoning laws and regulations. I have no doubt this rehab center would be exactly the same thing if it were questioned legally or tried to be prevented by zoning laws.

The most effect any law would have would be to ensure that the building / immediate area was up to safety or health codes before it could be occupied. Once that was met there would be little that could stop it.
January 18, 2012 at 8:43am
it doesnt matter because we dont have codes but there are avenues to get variances when codes exist. if appropate codes were in place these type facilities would have to get a varience to operate in a neighborhood.

This point is mute because we dont have codes so i believe our back and forth is taking away from the issue at hand.
January 18, 2012 at 12:32pm
OK Iam not trying to argue with you Bud. We just have a difference of opinions.

I think if a variance would work then the Mosque wouldn't be allowed to be built in Murfreesboro and they wouldn't have spent all that money on lawsuits. Murfreesboro has a ton of zoning regulations and nothing stopped that from happening. I doubt a variance would stop a church based rehab center in Woodbury.

Just my opinion and no offense intended.
January 18, 2012 at 1:40pm
i dont know the mosque situation but if the mosque applied for a variance and met and complied with all criteria then they would be exempt from those regulation deficiencies.

If we had codes and they protected residental areas, then this group home would have to apply for variance, public hearings, petition neighbors, utility audits, ect..ect.... win-win for everyone. By no means was any offence taken
January 18, 2012 at 5:53pm
OK sounds good. I appeciate the info.
January 18, 2012 at 7:37pm
I am not on here to discuss religion of any kind. This is to Corey: I meant RESPECT not Love ......I know the Ten Commandments, so therefore I did not type the wrong statement when I posted my comment. This is to Wondermind: No one ever said that he had to ask for permission, just speak to them and listen to their concerns.(two different things) As a pastor, I am sure that he is able to speak to people without any one having a sreaming match. If that happened to be the case then I am sure he or whom ever was representing the church would have told them to have a blessed day and exited their property.

And to Nanna2004: If Rutherford Co embraced them so much why didn't you keep all the centers there.
January 18, 2012 at 9:43pm
If a frog had this stage in the game, it makes NO difference. You are right. Murfreesboro has some of the stricktest codes, etc that I know of, and I am current on those rules. ...let's say, I am related, very closley to the Vice Mayor, Senior Council Member. I say, since its agreeded that Spring2Life is for sure coming to Cannon County, why don't we do the right thing...embrace what good they are doing, and move forward. At least, you know, it won't be a meth lab, or drug dealer at that location. I promise the citizens, you will grow to love these guys. They have something to themselves, their families and their community. I'm sure they are anxious to do just that. Can we now welcome them with open arms?
January 19, 2012 at 6:38am
rmaynard just to clarify I am not here to discuss religion either.

But....."love thy neighbor" is not one of the ten commandments.

Have a great day!
January 19, 2012 at 11:51am
I think we all know why spring2life has come to Cannon County.Its because we have no codes and restrictions to keep this type of place out of our residential communities.How many more will come in before our elected representatives get something put in place to actually help the people that live here.WE ask for jobs,business to come in to help our unemployed,better roads,more funding for our schools and the list goes on.I believe our leaders should wake up and realize the door is wide open and some people are taking advantage of it.Oh please give my regards to the Vice Mayor of Murfreesboro
January 19, 2012 at 1:10pm
Man I am all for codes to Henry, I have been been beat to death on this site for the last couple of years every time I mentioned the need for zoning laws in Cannon County. People are now suddenly realizing why I have been preaching this sermon for years.

But like I said numerous times above zoning laws are almost 100% ineffective when you deal with religous programs or churches. In this case with spring2life zoning laws would have not helped keep it from locating where it is because spring2life is not considered a business.

I agree for the need for zoning laws, but I don't know of any zoning laws restricting the ability of a church to locate or operate a program that would stand up in a court of law.

Our zoning laws need to focus on the idea of businesses like the two rock quarries we got crammed down our throat. We recieve no tax dollars off of the loads of gravel leaving the one by the Arts Center every day and the site just keeps getting more ridiculous each day.

Those are the things that our county government should have been on top of from day one. That place was sold to us as a cement factory. DUHHHHH, no one saw that coming?

January 19, 2012 at 6:44pm
Mr. Henry, the reason S2L opened another home in Woodbury is for a few reasons. First is because there is a massive need for the type of outreach we provide (see the story on this site "Jail Birds") another reason is because (no matter what people say) the house is in the country, a considerable distance away from neighbors. Also, the reason we moved into a residential area.... BECAUSE OUR GUYS ARE RESIDENTS, they are not some sub-human species that must seek an alternate zoning to live in. Finally because we have MANY people here in Woodbury that love what we do and want to welcome us here. Can we now just put this behind us and move forward with our lives? We love u Woodbury
January 20, 2012 at 12:03am
Spring2Life will certainly be an asset to your community. They are there to help those in need, and I am certain there are those that desperately need what they have to offer, right there in your county.. Spring2Life operates all their facilities with Christ like integrity. I cant for the life of me understand why some people think this is a problem? Who in their life time, has not gotten a second chance? That is exactly what these guys want, and exactly what they deserve. Zoning laws, Codes or restrictions do not apply to them....just like it didnt apply to the Musulim's. I agree with you Henry, to an extent. Your county would benefit from codes/zoning, etc. but you need to realize, your community also needs this facility. They are working very hard to help those in need. Regardless of the location, they are doing a GOOD THING. I thank God there are people out here that welcome the broken people,just as Jesus did, but his own people fought Him every step of the way too, but He didn't give up on people, and neither is Pastor Erik.
January 20, 2012 at 12:15am
Corey I agree with you,but I also agree with Bud, there may be ways to do this. I confess I have been one of those guys that hasn't taken a lot of interest in county politics,this has now changed my outlook on things that are happening here. This one hit really close to home.If all I can do is voice an opinion and cast a vote, then next time I hope to be a litte wiser when I do vote.I think silence is no longer an option.
January 20, 2012 at 6:27am
Well said Henry.

Silence can no longer be an option concerning any level of government whether it is on the local, state or federal level.

I said this in a previous post, but I think too many people want to get involved AFTER the fact and really don't have a clue what is going on around them until it is too late.

I understand this has been a controversial and emotional issue for both sides of the fence whether someone was for or against the rehab center. It is a tough call and one that can cause a lot of anger if we are not careful.

I think we have reached the point that we have to move on. Give the people in the program a chance to live peaceably and without judgment until they show cause to be judged.

Cannon County is the greatest place in the world to live as far as I am concerned and the less time we spend fighting amongst ourselves the better in my opinion.
January 20, 2012 at 7:38am
My one concern in this matter is that if it were being operated by a non religious-affiliated entity it would be considered a business. It provides a service in exchange for compensation. If and when the county does have zoning laws, will businesses associated with a religious organization receive special treatment and those which are not be discriminated against?
January 20, 2012 at 9:17am
Good question. Not sure exactly how it would work.

The key to spring2life was a few things I think.

1. Operating under the umbrella of their church / religion
2. Non-profit organization
3. Does not turn anyone away if they can't pay
4. Not considered a business due to all of the above

Future operations like this that met the same criteria would probably be held to the same standard because of the religious involvement and because spring2life will be held as the example we will follow.

Perhaps there are zoning laws or variances that Bud talked about that might help us.

I mean this with no disrespect to any form of religion or church group, but we all know our society goes to the extreme on both sides of the gambit when religion is involved.
January 20, 2012 at 10:08am
Corey I agree with you,but I also agree with Bud, there may be ways to do this. I confess I have been one of those guys that hasn't taken a lot of interest in county politics,this has now changed my outlook on things that are happening here. This one hit really close to home.If all I can do is voice an opinion and cast a vote, then next time I hope to be a litte wiser when I do vote.I think silence is no longer an option.
January 20, 2012 at 11:12am
The state inspector just visited S2L and gave us and our septic system a clean bill of health. Maybe people can rest easy now. We simply want to have peace with our community. We love u Woodbury.
January 20, 2012 at 2:50pm
The state inspector just visited S2L and gave us and our septic system a clean bill of health. Maybe people can rest easy now. We simply want to have peace with our community. We love u Woodbury.
January 20, 2012 at 11:33pm
kevin i am not an authority on the topic but zoning rules are established by each area (city , county ,municipality ect.) so they can differ from region to region. In most areas I have delt with, zoning affects all forms of business and residental areas with no regard to profit, nonprofit, religious affiliations or lack of. They must all meet all applicable zoning regulations and requirments or recieve a wavier (variance). The rules are for all and this also holds true for the application for a variance and the appeal process.

My question is, we hear creating zoning is tough and I am sure it is but have we started the ball rolling? Is the county commited to creating zoning regulations.

I would assume the state would have guidelines to assist us in estabilishing countywide zoning. The city of Woodbury has ordinances that limits residental and business entities now. This would maybe a starting place for the county.

January 21, 2012 at 10:30am
Good luck with that complicated process. It takes a long time to establish regulations. At that time, S2L will be "grandfathered" because they will already be established. Murfreesboro too, is a beautiful city and a better community because of codes, etc. This Dicipleship Program is an asset to the community as it will be in Cannon County also! There will be an Open House today at "The Lodge" on Hill Creek Road. Please, come out and meet your new neighbors. See for yourselves, the positive impact this Ministry is having in the lives of others! Blessings to Cannon County!
January 22, 2012 at 2:04am
Hello all ;)Let me first say that I have carefully read all the post all of you have written. Thank God we all live in a nation that has freedom of speech! Now secondly let me say, that Im sure many of us have family trees that go way back in time. With that being said, pastor Hines has a heritage with roots that span from Cannon County and Warren County. I guess that point is of little concern from those of you that opposes this Ministry. But just wanted to let you know a little of his heritage, so if we were to use that as a pivoting point, then he(pastor Hines) is a neighbor from past relations. I would go as far as saying that he and his family may just be related to some of you that so strongly oppose him and his ministry.
Sure, I agree all municipalities have need of codes and ordinances. And I can even see all your concerns about the "unknown". But in this case, the
unknown is you and I, and but by the grace of God could be our children or grandchildren one day. I ask you, if this were to happen to one of your family members, would you rather look at them behind bars, (where by the way there is little if any offers of Christian rehab of this sort)What must prevail here is everyone needs to seek a peaceful resolution and peace concerning this matter. I see it is very important some of you, as it should be. Maybe if more of us had jumped on the band wagon focused on our "goverment" maybe we wouldnt be in such a state of fear of our goverment. And if it takes Spring2Life to
"stir" up the great American Spirit in all of us, then Im sure they (S2L) will humbly accept rejection, and hurtful words spoken that cannot be taken back, (can be forgiven though) like this analogy> "words spoken in anger and resentment are like nails being driven into a fence post. You can remove the nails(seek forgiveness) but there will still be a hold where the nail was taken out. You all spoke the importance of your county codes, and other issues, but you seem to be hanging Spring2Life as the sacrificial Lamb, and you know, these young men are so Christ like and dedicated, and yes filled with the spirit of love, Im thinking there would not be a one of them that would not step forward in the name of Jesus and be your sacrificial lamb. I personally know pastor Erik and Gods calling on his life, and let me tell you, he has an immense sincerity, and dedication to reach out and help the helpless and the unwanted, (and to use one of your definitions) caged animals, well pastor Erik, because he sees them as Jesus sees all of us (thank God) they are just as worthy of love and a second chance as any of us. I have also met some of these young men. I consider myself as having a good sense of discernment as the next person, maybe more so, since when your a born again Christian, God fills us up with all we will need, and one very important gift is being able to know when we meet one another (Christian) we will know them just as God knows us. I also know that it isnt the ones God is reforming, reshaping, and uplifting that we should fear. My husband and I took that beautiful ride into your county today, to attend this open house, and let me just say this, when getting into our car to leave I realized I had forgotten a personal item of mine, as I was going back into the home, I was greeted by one of the young men asking if I needed something, when I told him, he hurriedly ran off to look for it, when it wasnt at the one home he then escorted me to the other one, where low and behold there it was! This young man brought it to me as if it were gold. Point is: You can tell a lot about a person (discernment) by their actions, and speech and just being around them. Not only would I trust these young men, I would love for them to teach some of my grandchildren the respect and manners that comes with being filled with love, and an attiude of gratitude, and williness to help.
Good people of Cannon County, could you at least extend this Ministry, pastor Hines, and these young men the same hand of grace love as they will show you if given just an inch of a chance? And lastly as a reminder, some of these people are from your county, some of these have roots that can be traced back well into the 1700s. Some just may share some of the same heritage as you share with other family members. Only difference from them and you is. They moved. Now they want to "come home". Godspeed to you all.
January 22, 2012 at 8:17am
You may hear more discord that the rest of us but what i hear is not about acceptance, rejection, like or dislike, it is about a process to have some control in protecting the life we have come accustom to in a rapid changing world. I understand how some of the neighbors are hurt or concerned. They have worked hard to establish a place to call home and then something that is not your traditional home moves in and in some way threatens their domain, then they are told there is nothing they can do. It doesnt matter if this is a quarry or a rehab with religious affiliations or not.

There is little doubt in my mind that if we had zoning regs, after all proceedures had be completed you would have been welcomed to Cannon county and even without regulations in place, if you are a good neighbor those who show resentment will come around to ,at the least, accept you as a neighbor.
January 22, 2012 at 1:15pm
I also attended the open house yesterday. This place is AMAZING! What an opportunity these guys have, to be able to live in such a beautiful home and place, such as Cannon County. The great thing about it, is the "guys" are fully aware of the blessing they have, and what a tremendous opportunity to develope an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. S2L has been commissioned and provided for by God, to minister to the broken and needy people in this area. Hopefully, some of the "concerned citizens" took the opportunity to see first hand, how God is at work in the lives of these young men, in an environment that He chose for them (I totally believe, God chose this particular home, in Cannon County, to fulfill His purpose!) Pastor Erik is walking in submission and obedience to this calling on his life. He should be commended, and not condemed. He should be welcomed, not judged. Proverbs 14:31 reads, "Whoever oppresses a poor (or needy) man, insults his Maker." GOD BLESS SPRING2LIFE! (Don't worry about the water/septic system. God is the provider of all things) Walk in faith with this Ministry!
January 23, 2012 at 2:04am
Great post Bud ,I think maybe this issue has made some of us think about what we have here and what we need in the county.Cannon County has been a great place to live and raise our children, but the world is changing every day. We must have leadership that recognizes this fact and will act accordingly.I think just sitting by and doing nothing is probably the worst thing we could do.Maybe in time, with enough thought, consideration and constructive conversation we might, aii of us together, make this an even better place to live.
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