Church fights to prevent Walmart from selling alcohol - CBS46 News

Cobb County Church fights to prevent Walmart from selling alcohol

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Members of a Cobb County church took a stand against a major retailer located next to them that wants to start selling alcohol.

Rev. Bobby Wood pastors Pine Grove Baptist Church off of Powder Springs Road. 

"Of course we're Baptist folks, and we don't believe drinking is right for anybody," Wood said.

His congregation has called their place of worship home for 63 years, but a lot changed six years ago when Walmart moved in next door.     

"They knew the situation before they built the store that they weren't going to be able to get a license to sell beer and wine," Wood said.

A Cobb County ordinance states that no business shall sell alcohol within 600 feet of a church.  Members said Walmart has tried to circumvent the issue more than once.

"They tried to get us to sign a waiver then and we would not do it, and we're not going to sign one now," church member Lamar Leavell said.

It has now become a case of David vs. Goliath.

Church members said Walmart went before the license and review board a month ago and the board sided with Walmart.  Now it's up the county commission to determine the outcome.

"If we allow this and we don't protest it then those people that have wrecks and get killed, God is going to punish us for it," Leavell said.

That's not exactly how some Walmart shoppers feel about it.  In fact, they see the issue much differently.

"I think it's okay to sell the beer and wine from the store as long as they don't do it on the church property.  That's the way I feel about it," Walmart shopper Toni Landrum said.

Churchgoers believe county commissioners should stand behind their own ordinance, which says it's illegal.  If that happens, David will have defeated Goliath once again.

"I think the Lord will be pleased with us," Leavell said. 

The Cobb County Commission will take up this issue Tuesday at 9 a.m. during their commission meeting.

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