The sign on the vacant church building on Pleasant Grove in south Lansing says “Friendship Baptist,” but in recent months relations between two groups within the congregation have been anything but friendly.
The church has been shut down more than a month in a bitter dispute between two factions battling for control. In June, one side barricaded the doors, denying entry to the other. What was once a united congregation has been holding services in two separate locations. The city of Lansing is trying to mediate the conflict.
To gain more insight into the conflict, Current State speaks with Bishop David Maxwell, a local clergy leader and director of the city of Lansing’s Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives.