IOWA CITY, Iowa — An Iowa City church that’s been the target of noise complaint calls to police plan to stick to how it worships on Sundays. However, Iowa City Police have not issued any tickets for noise violations. The congregation at New Creations International Church gathered once again Sunday morning.
This is what Pastor Anthony Smith comes here for every Sunday.
“We are doing what God called us here to do, to worship,” Smith said, briefly before the service began.
But when the worship gets cranked up, so does the heat inside the sanctuary. That’s when the windows open, and the sounds of song and praise come spilling out. Although some neighbors have complained, Pastor Smith has gotten mostly positive feedback since we spoke with him about the noise issue less than a week ago.
“Very supportive of the ministry, telling me to keep doing what we’re doing,” Smith said of people who have spoken with him recently.
He said since our original story aired, the church has received donations and gifts, including a window air conditioner. Smith told us it won’t do much to cool off this congregation — or upset neighbors — but he’ll return it, and put its cash value toward a larger AC unit.
“We want to get the air conditioning unit in as quick as possible. We want to shut the windows,” Smith explained. “We want air as much as they want quiet.”
It’s hard to deny: it gets loud inside the church when the music swells and Pastor Smith is in “the zone,” during one of his sermons. But step outside, and you can carry on a conversation with someone, no shouting necessary.
“Any time you ask someone to come and worship the Lord, I think that’s a beautiful thing,” said greeter Donald Kevin Marshall. We asked him if he thinks the service going on inside is too loud for people on the outside.
“No, it’s not,” Marshall answered. “Not when people are coming to worship the Lord.”
Pastor Smith said he’s ready and willing to talk things out with anyone who has a problem with how he does things in his sanctuary. Until then, he’ll keep doing what he’s doing.
“We want to be an asset to the community, we want to be an asset to the body of Christ, we want to bring a good light on the community,” Smith told us.