North Minneapolis Church Buys Gas Station After Having Fill Of Drugs, Crime Next Door

Bishop

As state and local leaders fight crime at the troubled Merwyn’s and Winner gas station on West Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis, another problem gas station on the same street is getting help from a different source.

Now the Marathon gas station will soon have a new owner: Real Believers Faith Center, a church located next door.

“Me and my wife are elated. It’s a long time coming,” Bishop Larry Cook of Real Believers Faith Center told FOX 9’s Maury Glover.

For 24 years, the church has been near the intersection of Fremont and West Broadway in North Minneapolis.

“The gas station for us was only a matter of time that we want to get our hands on it,” Cook said.

Bishop Cook says earlier this week, the church signed paperwork to buy the Marathon gas station that has long been a trouble spot for drugs and crime.

Once the church takes possession of the building, it plans to kick the troublemakers off the property, forcing them to move somewhere else.

Cook said the church had more than one goal in mind with the purchase.

“To control the corner. To spread our influence of who we are as a church and what we do as a ministry. Also, to take advantage of the economic power that it can give our church,” Cook said.

Just last month, one of the church’s surveillance cameras captured the aftermath when 4 people were shot outside the gas station, sending church members who were out front scrambling to get back into the building.

Bishop Cook says it was the second time in the last few months the sanctuary has been hit by a stray bullet coming from the business next door.

“My first reaction is I’m angry. When you own it, you call the shots,” said Bishop Cook.

Bishop Cook says the church will continue to operate the gas station at first, but eventually it plans to tear the building down and expand its current location, furthering its community outreach and cleaning up the neighborhood, one corner at a time.

“Our goal ain’t to fleece. Our goal is to build and we are going to build big time,” said Bishop Cook.

Real Believers is currently training its members on how to run the gas station until it takes possession of the business on Nov. 1.

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