(UPDATED) Controversial pastor accuses Menino of 'retaliation'
A controversial Dorchester pastor is accusing Mayor Thomas Menino of “retaliation” a day after he called on the mayor to acquiesce to his demand for a two-year study on city violence or resign.
Pastor Bruce Wall of Codman Square’s Global Ministries Christian Church, who has frequently clashed with Menino in the past and called clergy who work with the mayor “house pastors,” said last Thursday a “For Sale” sign has been put up on the city-owned vacant lot his church has been using for parking the last 17 years.
The sign was then suddenly taken down late Friday, Wall said, after his charge was made public in the Reporter's Lit Drop.
City officials have long planned to sell the property, located at 661 Washington St. Efforts to sell the property have been underway as part of the “Mid-Dorchester Action Plan,” a joint venture by the Department of Neighborhood Development and the Boston Redevelopment Authority since 2008.
But Wall charged that putting up a “For Sale” sign was in response to his email, blasted out Thursday and, like equally bombastic emails in the past, written entirely in capital letters. In a follow-up email, he attached a photograph of the sign.
“Is it a coincidence that the ‘For Sale’ sign goes up the next day?” Wall said on his noontime radio show. “I consider it a retaliation.”
A DND spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wall said he had met with city officials over the summer, where he was notified of their intent to sell the 9,520 square foot lot. The city has offered to sell the property to him.
“I kind of walked out of the meeting,” Wall told the Reporter.
Wall, who has also frequently demanded a crime-related “state of emergency” to be declared citywide, said the sign appeared to have been put up late yesterday evening or early morning Friday. “It’s hard for a church to exist if they don’t have parking,” he said, adding that city officials should have contacted him before putting up the sign.
Wall said the church has a year-to-year agreement with the city for the property, and he pays insurance on the vacant lot. “I’m not going to beg for the property,” he said. “If the mayor’s going to sell it, then go sell it.”
His lease of the property is up in June 2011, he said.