Pastor reveals plan to ‘petition, pester, and pray’ against methadone clinic

A town hall meeting was held at Resurrection Life Ministry Church on Tuesday night in Picayune in regards to announcing a plan to send a message to Crossroads Treatment Center that their proposed clinic is not wanted in Pearl

River County. Allen Hickman, Pastor of RLM, stated that the citizens of Pearl River County are not in favor of the operation of a drug rehabilitation center that uses methadone as its primary treatment method.

Crossroads was planning to open one of their centers on Carrie Mitchell Road, just outside the city limits of Picayune, just off Sycamore Road near I-59 Exit 6, until the county sited an ordinance that prohibits such clinics to operate according to previous press coverage.

Hickman told those gathered in the church auditorium that the meeting was to “organize and mobilize to a threat to our county.”

According to Hickman, the group needs to deal with the fact that methadone is an opiate and a controlled substance. He said that he and his church “love people and have been actively involved in fighting against drugs in Pearl River County since 2003”. Hickman added “down through history, horrible ideas have been implemented in desperate times. People come to power in the midst of desperate times on the promise of something good and that’s what I feel like this clinic is.”

Hickman said, “We are desperate, we need to change our drug culture. We need to kick drugs butt. Changing one opioid for another is not the answer.”

Hickman challenged the group to stay focused and understand that “methadone is an opioid and is part of the opiate scourge that is happening in our country.”

Hickman presented his plan to “pester” the executives of and lawyers representing Crossroads in a law suit that was filed by Crossroads Treatment Center against the county’s Board of Supervisors and Sheriff David Allison. The suit, according to Hickman, was filed to allow Crossroads to open their clinic and to be compensated punitive damages for pain and suffering. Hickman said that negotiations are underway between the parties to settle the suit and in his words “make this thing go away”, but he added “that might not happen, so we can’t count on that.”

The approach presented by Hickman is a three-part approach.

Step one is to gather 10,000 signatures for a petition with a deadline of collecting those signatures for September 7th.

The second part of the plan, according to Hickman, is based on a parable in the bible about a judge being pestered to the point of giving in. He told the group that this step of the plan is to send emails, face book messages, text messages, twitter messages, phone calls, and regular mail (letters) to both the executives and lawyers in hopes of them giving up due to the ‘pestering’ from the citizens of Pearl River County.

Hickman said as soon as he is able to find out who the judge will be in the case, he wants to use the same ‘pestering’ approach with that person as well and to “aggravate the snot out of him.” He told the group in all of this “do not be ugly” referring to the tone of the correspondence.

The third part of the plan is to organize people and pray.

Hickman said, “I believe this is a spiritual battle, I believe drugs are demonic, and I believe they are sent from Satan to steal everything good out of people’s lives.”

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