Apparently, even Jesus needs a good construction engineer. At least Father Jesus, the Gulfport, Mississippi man who was denied a building permit for a church.
Last week the Gulfport planning commission told the man, who had changed his name to Father Jesus, he had failed to meet a requirement that a professional engineer draw up his plans.
Jesus (not the Jesus of Nazareth) hasn’t performed any miracles of late so people are rightly skeptical that the second coming has occurred.
Father Jesus said he wanted to build a 12-foot by 24-foot church that would start with three members.
At the meeting, residents questioned who he is and what he stands for, but the Planning Commission must stick to location and site plans in deciding whether a use is legal.
Father Jesus explained his background by saying that he has been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, but he had a revelation that he embodied the spirit of Jesus Christ and changed his name.
He wanted his church to be built like a castle. Father Jesus was going to call it The Saints of the Most High.
Councilwoman Ella-Holmes Hines said many residents who spoke to her about Father Jesus’ plans “were very disturbed.”
They’re not the only ones.
Father Jesus, 42, says he is originally from Detroit, where his name was Harold Ray Laster Jr.
He claims he had a revelation when he was a child that he was the embodiment of Christ.
After saying his church ministers to the homeless, prominent leaders of the homeless community in Gulfport have responded they never heard of him.
Father Jesus did appear to have at least one man staying at his house and current church headquarters which he shares with his wife, Lameka Herron.
For now the matter is closed. If Father Jesus is able to perform a miracle, it will be that the Gulfport, Mississippi planning commission grants him a building permit.