Gambling or a church? News reports are having a field day after firefighters responded to a reported fire inside a Houston building that also housed a church.
Headlines on the internet, television and in newspapers read, “Church busted for Gambling.”
Problem is, it’s not true.
Pastor Anthony Scott, of Word of Life Church, had to make a video to show his church isn’t a gambling den that reporters are making it out to be.
In their attempt to rescue four trapped individuals, firefighters over the weekend discovered more than 100 gambling machines in the building. They didn’t find a fire but the person who made the call said he was locked in a room controlled by an electronic door lock.
Police then arrived and several people were removed in handcuffs.
In a rush to judgment, media reports said the gambling machines were part of the church, failing to investigate the real story.
Pastor Anthony Scott explained to a local TV station that the church shares the building with another business and that the landlord had actually remodeled to separate the two spaces.
One side of the building is the Word of Life Church, and the other side is its own separate entity. Even the outside of the building is separated by a chain link fence and gate.
Walking through the sanctuary of the church, which looks like any one of a thousand churches across the nation, Scott appeared gracious but frustrated with the rush to judgement by media.
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Posted by Word of Life COGIC on Saturday, November 24, 2018
He said that he and his church couldn’t afford the entire building, so the landlord built a wall that separates the church from the other side of the building. An electronic prevents access into the business side of the building.
In a video, the pastor also does a walk-through of the building showing how it was split down the middle, separating the sanctuary from the former fellowship hall.
He also says he has no idea who the manager of the other side is and has little to no information about the business they run.
The sheriff’s office said it was continuing the investigation. One person involved with the business was arrested on an outstanding warrant.