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January 8, 2002
After a ten-month battle,
A Rebirth of Liberty in Monroe!
After a hard-fought battle which combined street and legal strategy, Christ the King Church [renamed Pilgrims Covenant Church] is blessed to announce that the City of Monroe has finally waved the white flag, signaling an end of hostilities which commenced ten months ago on March 6, 2001. On that day, the City of Monroe passed an ordinance which banned "protesters" from having signs larger than three square feet in size (example: 1.5' x 2'). Subsequent to March 6, the City began arresting members of Christ the King Church for numerous violations of the sign ordinance. Pastor Ovadal alone was arrested four times, including once for using a sermon illustration during a church service in the park on Monroe's city square and once for holding a cross on which was written the words "Jesus Saves. John 3:16." Pastor was also arrested under an "encroachment" ordinance for using a mobile pulpit from which to preach on the city sidewalk. In February, just prior to the enactment of the sign ordinance, Pastor Ovadal and Deacon Mike Foht were also arrested for placing Christian literature on car windshields during an appearance in Monroe of Representative Tammy Baldwin. Attorney B.J. Brown of the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy represented Christ the King Church in the legal action resulting from the City of Monroe's actions against Christ the King Church.

Under the out-of-court settlement, the City of Monroe has agreed to the following:

(1) Eliminate the sign ordinance and the encroachment ordinance. Earlier, the City was also ordered by Federal Judge Barbara Crabb to cease enforcement of the handbill ordinance under which Mike Foht and Pastor Ovadal were charged in February.

(2) Drop twelve charges against members of Christ the King Church. Eleven charges occurred under the new sign ordinance and one charge under the encroachment ordinance. Earlier, the City agreed to drop two charges which had occurred under the City's now defunct handbill ordinance. So in total, the City will have dropped fourteen charges against members of Christ the King Church.

(3) Pay the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy $10,000 in legal fees and $2,800 in litigation expenses for a total of $12,800.

(4) Pay twelve members of Christ the King Church $50 each.

(5) Release all Christ the King Church property which was seized by the City. That property includes: a cross upon which is written, "Jesus Saves. John 3:16"; a mobile pulpit; a sermon illustration; a street theater ministry prop; a copy of the Monroe Times; fourteen signs bearing pictures of live and aborted preborn babies and also biblical messages.

(6) Issue a public statement that says the City has a "desire to enact and enforce all ordinances in a fair and even-handed manner."

"I thank the Lord for this great victory, and I am grateful to B.J. Brown for his skilled handling of the case. I regret that the Monroe City Council put so many good and decent police officers in such an awkward position and showed so much animus toward Christians whose only crime has been to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and stand against the murder of innocent babies."
Pastor Ralph Ovadal, Christ the King Church


This web site contains references to Wisconsin Christians United (WCU). That ministry, which was founded by Ralph Ovadal in 1993, has been included as a ministry of Pilgrims Covenant Church since April 1, 2005. 

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