The city of Warren has been cast as a racially segregated city. The city is well over 70 percent white and just 13 percent black. Bishop Adolphus Cast of Light Application Ministries Christian Church has been in Warren a long time and believes that race may be the reason the city is making them demolish an unfinished youth activity center the city already paid $1.2 million to build.
“Race is certainly a part of it”, said Cast. “But that’s not my issue. I’ve been dealing with the racism in this city for over 50 years. I’m built for it. I worked at General Motors Tech Center and I’m familiar with getting stopped on my way to and back from work. If you were seen walking or driving, the police would stop and question you. Again, I don’t want to pull the race card but it is certainly a part of it.”
The project, which was going to be called the Community Life Center, was stalled due to an unscrupulous contractor and delays by the City of Warren. The city deemed the addition a nuisance and residents called it an eyesore. The Warren City Council hit the church with an order on February 27, 2018 to tear down the church by March 20, 2018, on the city’s tab. Cast said the church has decided to spare the people and taxpayers of Warren the burden of the covering the cost of removal and will remove the building under their own terms and conditions.
LAM Christian Church sits on 20 acres of land near Masonic and Schoenherr, accumulated from the purchase of two other churches on the land, and a four-bedroom ranch style home in January of 2015. Cast felt the power and land the church was obtaining in the community made them a target of the powers that be and the community.
“I kinda of figured that when we got that many buildings and that much property, it was going to be a problem,” he said. “That’s why I tried to keep a low profile in this city. Both of those churches came up for sale under the radar, and I know it was God, because they (Warren City Council) would have blocked it.”
“I’m assuming that someone wants to run for mayor and someone from the city council started a campaign to take our building down, due to the complaints that it was an eyesore. We even had to hire a lawyer to the tune of $70,000 to represent us at the city council meeting because they would not let us talk.”
The church of 700 parishioners has been in Warren for 22 years and has persevered through the racial tension and practices. Cast and his congregation could have left a long time ago but he loves where he decided to build his congregation, the work they do for the community, and wants continue to speak up against the corruption in the city.
“The reason why I stayed was to make change,” said Cast. “You can’t change anything running. That is what they would like me to do. They have people calling me wanting to buy the land and it’s not for sale. We are going to stay and fight.”
“The citizens of Warren, white and black, deserve better governance than what’s going on. They are being used by the city council.”