Detroit sues bishop over unfinished Perfecting Church on Woodward
DETROIT (FOX 2) - In 2003, Bishop Marvin Winans revealed plans for Perfecting Church on Woodward Avenue. Two decades later, that building is still unfinished, and the city of Detroit is fed up.
The city filed a lawsuit against Winans, a member of the world-renowned Gospel-singing family The Winans, last week.
"We did sue because we said this continues to be a nuisance which has to be abated," said Conrad Mallett, the city's corporation counsel. "We want a recevior to come in, take control of the project, and help us bring this thing to a close."
Mallet says no work permits have been pulled for the site since 2018. The city says it’s still waiting to receive a detailed status building report from the church, which was due two weeks ago.
FOX 2 reached out to Winans, who released a statement that reads in part, "We believed we are up-to-date in addressing all matters of concern posed by the city. We are shocked and extremely disappointed that the city would take this course of action in the dark of the night, and in our opinion, not acting in good faith."
Activist Sam Riddle thinks what's happening is about more than the unfinished project.
"What is really happening here I believe is that that church is located right on the line of sight to the first PGA event ever held in Detroit, the Rocket Mortgage Classic. I believe they view it as an eyesore," he said.
The city says this is untrue.
"We’ve had two Rocket Mortgages and this thing has been standing there throughout each one of them," Mallett said. "If we’re going to transform the blight that we all live with every day we’ve got to start somewhere, and we’re starting at 7 Mile and Woodward."
Winans has three weeks to respond to the lawsuit.
"There’s something wrong with this. Does God have a timetable? Hell no," Riddle said.