Taking Action: Church Members Want Answers
For nearly two years now, members of Free Will First Baptist Church have been forced to meet in a temporary location at a house on Country Club Road in Huntsville.
In October of 2010, Free Will signed a contract with Don Kennedy and Son’s house moving company to relocate their former building on Nick Davis Road in Harvest to a 300 acre plot of land on Pulaski Pike in Huntsville.
Over the past two years, the spirit has moved but their building has not.
“We’re just at a standstill,” said Free Will Baptist Pastor Dennis Reeves Tuesday.
While church members attempt to remain patient, saying they have everything they need in their small temporary quarters, what they do not have is any more space, or, what they say they paid for.
Free Will Deacon John Tucker produced a copy of the Don Kennedy and Son’s contract, signed back on October 19, 2010. The terms included the sale and move of a small building at 2613 Pansy Street and the former church building at 1639 Nick David Road in Harvest, to the new location at 3610 Pulaski Pike.
Kennedy and sons moved the Pansy Street home, to be used as a youth services building, to the empty plot of land owned by Free Will Baptist, but church members say the work has stopped there.
“I think there was a bit of coercion involved,” said Free Will Church Deacon John Tucker, who explained Jeff Kennedy offered a deep discount to sweeten the deal.
“He said if we didn’t sign the contract that day back in 2010, the next day the price would go up $10,000.”
“He’s promised and promised and promised, no telling how many times,” Tucker said, “but he will never come through with it. What more can we do?”
Free Will Baptist Pastor Dennis Reeves echoes the empty promises he says he has heard time and time again from Kennedy and Son’s.
Free Will has even hired an attorney to deal with the matter, and say they have even met with Jeff Kennedy in front of that attorney with no results. Pastor Dennis Reeves said they made a terrible mistake by paying the moving company in advance.
“That was our fault,” admitted Reeves, “but we expected him to be an honorable and reputable business person, we expected him to do exactly what he said he’d do, and not only what he said, but what is black and white on paper.”
But Don Kennedy and Son’s Moving Company did not follow up on their promise to WHNT News 19 either. Tuesday, we visited their office on Stringfield Road, and were promised a call back twice from the company’s office manager, but never heard back from them.
WHNT News 19 will continue to push for answers and try to get results for the crowded and frustrated members of Free Will First Baptist Church.
Pastor Reeves said Tuesday at this point in the ordeal, he would almost be willing to accept a full refund, scrap the moving project and simply build from scratch.
“We need this building desperately.”