Plans for three religious organizations OK’d by planning board

Special use permits and site plans proposed by one Moslem and two Christian organizations were approved by the City of Amsterdam Planning Board at Thursday’s meeting at City Hall.

Mohammed Hafez spoke to board members about his plan to open a mosque at 141 Guy Park Ave. He said his group’s plan is to raise an estimated $100,000 to complete renovations to the property. Board members agreed to add a condition to the site plan approval that the exterior of the building be painted, and for stripes to be painted in the parking lot.

Hafez said the mosque will initially serve about fifty people in the Amsterdam area and have one hour services on Fridays.

Jay Brundage spoke to the board about his efforts to open a meeting space and prayer center on the bottom floor of 123 Market Street. The building will be available for the general public and area churches for meetings and prayer.

“It’s not a non-profit, although I don’t think it will make any money,” said Brundage. “It’s made to be a blessing to the city and to the community. Anyone is welcome to come in.”

Brundage, who has already renovated the interior space, said the center may start off only being open an hour a day, but he hopes to recruit volunteers to keep the building open for longer hours in the future.

Isaiah Strong spoke about his youth-oriented 316 Ministry which is located at 123 ½ Market Street.

Strong said the ministry’s objective is to “better the community by giving kids a safe place to hang out after school with tutoring, games, snacks, different activities that are appropriate.”

Strong stressed that the ministry is a Christian organization affiliated with Perth Bible Church, and will teach about the bible and be involved with evangelistic and discipleship activities.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.