The following comes from an October 14 CBS Local story:
Those who love Gospel music refer to it as “joyful noise” and it is anything but quiet.
But the City of Oakland has a different description of it, they’re calling it a “nuisance.” Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in West Oakland recently received a letter from the city threatening a $3,500 nuisance fee and a $500 a day fine unless it toned down its choir practice.
“Kind of hard to believe because we’ve been here about 65 years in the community and all of a sudden we get some concerns about the noise,” said Thomas A Harris III, the pastor at Pleasant Grove.
Church pastors who met Wednesday said the real issue is gentrification. The church sits in a neighborhood full of old Victorians being snapped up by affluent tech workers.
“Those persons who are just new arrivals should not come and try to change the culture that existed before they arrived here,” said George Holland, president of the Oakland branch of the NAACP. “We cannot have people come attack churches about music.”