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Real Estate & Property Law

Black Baptist Church Is Rightful Owner of KKK Store, Judge Rules

Posted Jan 4, 2012 12:23 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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A South Carolina district court judge recently ruled that the New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful owner of a store that sells Ku Klux Klan robes and T-shirts.

The battle over the building began in 1997 when a disgruntled KKK member transferred ownership to Rev. David Kennedy and his church, the Associated Press reports. However, a clause in the deed entitles the store’s proprietor, John Howard, to operate his business, the Redneck Shop, until he dies.

After a decade of Howard refusing to allow Kennedy and New Beginnings to inspect the property, the church finally sued the former KKK grand dragon for the Carolinas and others in 2008.

Although it is unclear what the ruling means for Howard’s business, Rev. Kennedy told the Associated Press that after years of hateful reprisals by KKK klansman against church members, he’s not counting anything out.

"I think that the church would do good in that building," Kennedy said.

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