Proposal to Build 60,000-Square-Foot Church in Bowie Faces Opposition From Neighbors

Some residents in Bowie, Maryland, say they oppose a church's plan to build a new, 60,000-square-foot building.

The Redeemed Christian Church of God Victory Temple on Old Annapolis Road says its congregation has outgrown its current building.

It's hoping to build a new church a few miles away on a vacant plot on the corner of Church and Mount Oak roads.

"We are a community based church," Pastor Adebayo Adeyokunnu said. "We are willing to bring new things to that area."

Adeyokunno said his church needs more parking, a bigger space for the children's department and a church that can hold up to 2,000 people. 

Some residents in Woodmore Estates don't want to see the vacant plot of land developed, including local resident Derrick Plummer.

"Developments like this are not what we decided we wanted in terms of when we picked the community to live in," Plummer said.


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Plummer and other residents say they have issues with the size of the plans. 

"Do we want a church the size of a grocery store?" he said.

Additionally, residents fear of increased traffic on Church Road and concerns of lack of transparency with the church developer. 

"They have to look at the fiscal impact, the economic impact, the environmental impact [and] the undue burden to tax payers. Is this going to impact tax payers? And that, really, has not been done," Plummer said.

Adeyokunno says he believe all those concerns can be addressed before construction even begins. 

"Anything they want us to do, we'll look at the pros and the cons and then we'll reach a compromise," Adeyokunno said.

He adds that he is willing to compromise with residents, but thinks the proposed location is "where God wants us to be."

"We are not fighting anybody," he said. "As time goes on they will be able to understand us better."

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