Transformation Church, a popular congregation which recently relocated to facilities in the city of Bixby in Tulsa, Oklahoma, could soon be shut down if they can’t keep the joyful noise they have been making to the Lord from bothering their neighbors.
The church has been given 32 noise violation citations since it moved to its new location in Bixby in recent months, according to ABC News affiliate KTUL, but city officials think they might have to take more drastic measures to get the church to quiet down.
Phil Frazier, the city's attorney, said they are looking at three different ways to fix the problem, including the drastic step of shutting down the church, led by pastor Michael Todd, or make a deal that would appease the community.
"You read the books of Matthew and Romans, it talks about loving your neighbor and your neighbor right and that's what we're asking them to do," Frazier said in an earlier report.
The Christian Post reached out to Transformation Church for comment Thursday and a representative said the church would not be issuing any public comment at this time.
Last August, pastor Todd announced that Transformation Church had purchased the building in Bixby which formerly housed Spirit Bank. Todd said the move was driven by a vision he got from God a few years ago and that with favor and faith, the promise finally came to pass.
According to KTUL, even when the building was named the Spirit Bank Event Center in the late 2000s, there were many complaints about noise from it as well.
"When that noise comes on and you have a cup of coffee sitting on a counter in a neighbor's house, the water starts doing like this, it's that much vibration," said Frazier.
He told KTUL that the building is a big part of the problem, and noted that it was "unfortunate that the church had bought such a terrible building."
The Rev. Jamaal Dyer, lead pastor at Friendship Church in Tulsa, suggested in a post on Facebook that there might be an element of racial animus to the complaints against Transformation Church in Bixby, which is 84.2% white and just 1.6% black.
“Sooooooo... They're complaining about the noise at Transformation Church in Bixby.......we know what it's really about!!!” Dyer wrote.
“Y'all don't want to see The black man prosper at ANYTHING... not even church! This church has brought revenue and soooooo many people to BIXBY that they never would've seen and yall wanna complain about some noise... We know why yall are really mad but guess what.... it's NOT gonna stop God from blessing them,” he continued.
“The city attorney had the nerve to say, the scripture says, love thy neighbor... well that goes both ways... The neighbors need to love the church and leave them alone. This is why I'm sticking to Pastoring in a community with people who understand our style of worship!!! Keep making a JOYFUL NOISE Pastor Mike and Transformation Church. And I'm mad they're doing this during BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!!” he added.
The Bixby City Council will be meeting for their regular scheduled meeting on March 9, where they will be discussing any further actions that they may have to take if the noise from the church remains an issue.
A church in North Carolina faced a similar complaint two years ago.
In 2018, residents living near the Ballantyne campus of Elevation Church in Charlotte turned to police and a television news outlet to complain about the amount of noise coming from the Southern Baptist megachurch on a regular basis that they said was disturbing their peaceful lives.
At the time, neighbors shared cell phone recordings that showed how the worship music and other sounds coming from the church reverberated through their homes.
In a statement to CP at the time, Elevation Ballantyne Campus pastor Jonathan Josephs said, "On the few occasions when we have received complaints, the police have assured us that we were not violating any noise ordinances. Our intent is to be good members of the communities we serve, and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement should any issues arise."