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Escambia County church wants to build a fence to secure property

A church in Escambia County wants to build a new fence to help secure their property.
Saint James Missionary Baptist Church is located on East Johnson Road in Ensley.
The surrounding community has been designated as a high crime area by the county.
But to build the new fence, the county will need to bend their codes to meet the request of the church's plan.

Ricki Vann "This wood could soon be replaced with iron. Church members say they also want this fence to be six feet tall and wrap around the entire property. But the county says fences in front yards of this community must be no more than four-feet tall. So the church has requested a variance."

Assistant Pastor of the Church, Doctor Gabrieli Davis says the new fence will help keep people from trespassing on their property.

Doctor Gabrieli Davis/ Assistant Pastor "People see here, they can just break in a car or break in a building. With that fence it locks them in. It also helps out the police department out because we are going to block out the back, there is only one way in and one way out."

Madeline Tillman is a business owner just down the road from the church and says she looks forward to the new fence.

Madeline Tillman/ Co-owner Show Time Auto Center "So many times people have driven through the neighborhood and all they know is that they see the same things over an over but to add something new and fresh to the community will be an eye catch."

Doctor Davis says the church will sell plaques to be put on the fence.
"Our members can put their names on the wall, their family members names on the wall. Years from now, you will have all those names of people who were once members here who participated in the vision and made the vision come real."

Tillman says she wants to help.
"I would love to get involved with it because it shows coming together. Businesses, church families, neighbors, are coming together to stand in the community."

There is no gate now but the church will meet with the county on Wednesday and if approved, church members say they want to start building the fence within the next thirty days."