A pastor claims her congregation was kicked out following its brief residency at a YMCA facility in Brentwood after officials there learned the church was predominantly African-American, according to a report in this week's Beverly Hills Courier. The result, the paper states, is a potential discrimination lawsuit against the YMCA.
Senior Pastor Jeanine Horowitz says her Solutions Christian Church International was invited to relocate to the YMCA this year but that the facility's leaders seemed surprised to learn it was a black church when the congregation met there in May:
"You're Horowitz?" the executive director said, according to the pastor's recollection.
Horowitz says after that first meeting she received a call from a YMCA official demanding that all her parishioners sign a seven-page liability and indemnity agreement. " ... We have a written agreement," Horowitz said, "and why arent' any of the other programs signing waivers."
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When some of the church's members balked at signing, Horowitz says she was told to "get out." When church members returned in late May to retrieve music equipment left at the YMCA, they discovered they were locked out.
The church leader says other groups that met regularly at the facility were not required to sign such waivers. What's more, Horowitz says she already signed a agreement with the YMCA.
Church executive director Alan J. Reinach told the Courier, "Obviously, the YMCA expected that a church from Westwood and pastored by a 'Horowitz' was 'white' and was horrified when a large group of blacks showed up."
The YMCA says the church's charges are "unfounded" and that the only reason it was kicked out was because of its "repeated failure" to comply with terms of its agreement with the association.