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Neighbors fighting against proposed rectory in Sunset Hills

7:10 PM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
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By Tracy Clemons

Sunset Hills, MO (KSDK) - The Gateway House of Prayer wants to house up to 24 people at the old Mehlville fire house.

"The reason we wanted it to be called a rectory is because we knew that that would be essentially for clergy or ministers in training or actual ministers that are here a part of it," said Pastor Jeff Riddering.

"We're hoping to use the fire house as housing for possible interns here that would come and do maybe a six month internship, or a three month internship," added Director Tammy Riddering. "Most likely they will be young single 20 somethings."

The House of Prayer is a collaboration of churches throughout St. Louis that meet for worship and prayer services throughout the week. They also do outreach to the homeless, the poor, and prostitutes.

"This will house the teams that will actually go out and minister to those people in our city," Tammy Riddering said.

"I'm all for outreaching, all for poor, or disabled, or whatever. But it said they would outreach to destitute persons, including the homeless and prostitutes. Well that blew my mind," said concerned neighbor Lois Feicht.

Feicht has lived across the street from the building in question for more than 50 years. She says she was ok with the it being a rectory, which is what the GHOP is calling it, until she found out specifics.

"And I thought '24 people?' The firemen had maybe 10. That was fine. They were great. But 24? Who are these people?"

Kimberly Bordeaux also lives across the street.

"There's already an issue of traffic here where are constantly cutting through and using our road as a cut through for Lindbergh. And that has caused all kinds of traffic problems already," said Bordeaux.

She says she worries that homeless, poor and even prostitutes will end up as neighbors. .

"I just wonder will people be pulling up for services such as counseling. And if so, I would just like to see the city zone it commercial and they open it up to [South] Lindbergh instead," said Bordeaux.

The Ridderings say the only people living there will be clergy and clergy in training.

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen was scheduled take the proposed rectory up in its meeting Tuesday night.


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