Church Expansion Plan Casts Out Frenchy’s from Original Scott Spot

Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Master Plan excerptThe gospel-soundtracked video above, showing Wheeler Avenue Baptist’s plans to plant a larger sanctuary next door to its existing facilities, appears to show that new structure landing on top of the original Frenchy’s location at 3919 Scott St. The creole chicken chain, which announced last year that it would be pushing for national expansion to 500 locations, also previously announced plans to tear down the original spot and rebuild bigger, though the exact location of that rebuild wasn’t specified. (Just up the street, meanwhile, a Frenchy’s-connected entity called 3919 Scott Street appears to have purchased the entire city block southwest of the corner of Scott St. and Hadley back in 2009. )

The property at 3919 Scott St. was bought over the summer by the church; the renderings in the video (posted just this week) more or less match up to a few older depictions featured on Harrison Kornberg Architects’s website for the project:


New Sanctuary proposed at 3919 Scott St. for Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Third Ward, Houston, 77004

Here are a few daytime shots of the design, as shown in the video:

New Sanctuary proposed at 3919 Scott St. for Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Third Ward, Houston, 77004

New Sanctuary proposed at 3919 Scott St. for Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Third Ward, Houston, 77004

Images: Harrison Kornberg Architects (renderings), Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church (video)

Third Ward Chicken Prophecy

22 Comment

  • Must be nice to be able to hoard tax free cash to buy property and not pay any taxes on it forever. In what other industry does our society allow such blatant theft?

  • @CS, last I checked the entire montrose/river oaks area is slowly being eaten up by private schools…which I find to be quite humorous when you consider that these private schools are, generally speaking, surrounded by the best public schools in the entire city. But just think how much these private schools are turning around and investing in Houston by providing (????) education to the privately rich.
    A more honest answer to your query is “all of them and more” though. Non-profit organizations are far form the only ones getting beneficial tax treatments I’m afraid.

  • Ok commonsense, we get it, you don’t believe that religious uses provide any benefit to their communities, squander money and thus shouldn’t be tax exempt. Bro, if you put the same amount of effort, time, and hawk-like scrutiny that you do when a religious use is mentioned in a post into something productive, you might find something worth your time. Yeah, some churches end up doing a lot of talking and not a lot of doing, but many really do act like active non-profits and serve the communities around them.

  • Churches provide no benefit to any surrounding communities other than alleviating the fear of the unknown to those who need something to believe in. If you don’t agree with that then ask yourself why a church would need to spend this kind of money expanding it’s footprint when it could use the money to fund missionaries, etc. in other parts of the world that actually need assistance. I guess it could be argued that by making a church even bigger you are able to draw more members to the parish, but for what reason? To spread the faith or to spread the costs of building a bigger church?

  • Common sense, if you don’t want anybody to search out your character for who you really are then you might want to keep certain no common sense thoughts away because that’s about as much a disrespect to this nation as people believe the protest some players are making during the national anthem.

  • Get some guidance with the bible, saint frenchy, because just calling yourself saint and then saying something doesn’t play.

  • @joel, most private schools are chartered through religious institutions, hence theft continues.

    @WQ, the biggest charities around the world are secular like Red Cross and Oxfam, one does not need to believe in superstition to do good things for community. Churches spend around 70% of money they take in on salaries and expansion, not help for community.

    @C, why does religion deserve an automatic respect? Any institution that claims snakes can talk, a man lived in a fish for 3 days, and a guy flew on a Pegasus to heaven should be ridiculed and mocked incessantly.

  • Houstons obsession with mega “churches” is epidemic.

  • Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the father fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

    The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

    2 Peter 3:3-4, 9

  • I didn’t think I would, but I agree with Common Sense. These church businesses are exactly that, money making ventures or businesses. To be more precise they’re tax exempt businesses making a killing and I’d argue that they would, varying the context ever so slightly, fit the definition of fraud. And why a bigger church between Blodgett, Wheeler, and Scott? Why not something to improve the revitalization of this part of the city? Personally, I don’t think that yet another salvation factory in the metropolitan area is doing anything that helps get Houston to where it needs to be.

  • Dayum! Scott street without Frenchy’s is like peanut butter without jelly! I thought that place was where the locals recieved communion. Maybe they’ll relocate to the church’s (no not Church’s – the other, newer sanctuary) new food court, next to the cinema, past the Kmart or Bealls.

  • I won’t say that all churches are irresponsible with their resources because that’s a huge generalization to make about a diverse array of entities and congregants. But…if you’ve ever heard stories from an auditor who specializes in religious organizations, yes scandal (whether of a legal or illegal character) and incompetence is not at all uncommon. The same can be said about many government and non-profit entities and a lot of corporate entities. (I can’t speak to the situation with Wheeler Baptist, though.)
    Regarding this project, though, commonsense’s comment is not completely accurate. A church cannot purchase land and sit on it forever without paying taxes. They get three years of tax exemptions to build a church on land that’s been acquired or otherwise (if it adjoins their church, which this does) to put the land to a religious use, and if they can’t do it then they have to pay back taxes plus penalties. That’s what happened with the Aga Khan Foundation over on Allen Parkway. And if there’s still a non-religious business enterprise on the site which is a going concern then its not going to be tax exempt at all.
    Out of personal interest, does anybody know when the Frenchy’s will get torn down? Hopefully I will have time to make a pilgrimage.

  • @ Jesus Bond Co. you’ll find the same kind of crap written in the Quran. Would you put that same amount of faith in a Harry Potter book? I get the parables of the bible and respect its values for a healthy society that preaches love and forgiveness, but you’re doing the same thing as other radicals of faith by spewing out that cited jargon from a book that has lead many millions of people to die over the course of milleniums based on an unwavering belief that your god is more mighty and deserving than others. Which ties into the very logical, 21st century point of view that commonsene raises. which basically states that all property should be treated equally in the eyes of whichever god you worship. the concept of personal ownership of property aside based on colonial rule instilled by religion is a different topic altogether, but If the pastors of these churches really cared about the communities they serve then they would actively petition to repeal their tax exempt status in order to weave themselves into the greater good of the community by paying their fare share just like the rest of us. some of who pay even more by means of funding this scheme of personal insecurity towards the unkown.

  • I think the expanding church and Frenchy’s can co-exist along Scott Street. Frenchy’s could use the opportunity to expand and move down about 2 blocks to join the other retail eateries while WABC can super-size their building to their heart’s (and wallet’s) content.
    Normally, I’d like as much taxable value to remain on the tax rolls but the blighted area isn’t really a tax money making machine over there. So, the marginal cost to the public treasury is minimal.

  • @Bondservant of Christ, typical religious MO, if people don’t believe your fairy tales, threaten them. Jesus would approve: “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them – bring them here and kill them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

    But on a different note, I’m worried about your god and Jeebus and rapture exactly as much as you’re worried about wrath of Zeus and Hindu reincarnation, and Great JuJu of the mountain of subsaharan Aftica. We’re ALL atheist toward thousands of claimed gods, it’s just that some people go one god further.

  • I feel compelled to point out that the passage referenced by commonsense is from a parable, it’s not Jesus’ literal instructions to go and kill his enemies. If you step back to verse 11:

    11While the people were listening to this, Jesus proceeded to tell them a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and they thought the kingdom of God would appear imminently. 12So He said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to lay claim to his kingship and then return. 13Beforehand, he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Conduct business with this until I return,’ he said.

    Just some FYI.

  • @MJ, but I feel compelled to point out that you are incorrect according to biblical scholars:
    Pulpit Commentary
    Verse 27. – But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. An obvious reference to the Lord’s dealings with the chosen people, and an unmistakable reference to the awful ruin and disaster which was so soon to overwhelm the city and temple and the whole nationality.

    Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
    But those mine enemies,…. Meaning particularly the Jews, who were enemies to the person of Christ, and hated and rejected him, as the King Messiah; and rebelled against him, and would not submit to his government; and were enemies to his people, and were exceeding mad against them, and persecuted them; and to his Gospel, and the distinguishing truths of it, and to his ordinances, which they rejected against themselves: bring hither, and slay them before me; which had its accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem, when multitudes of them were slain with the sword, both with their own, and with their enemies;

    Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible:
    Those – enemies – bring hither – the Jews, whom I shall shortly slay by the sword of the Romans.
    Others seem to believe that it refers to the ultimate fate of all who reject Christ.

    People’s New Testament:
    19:27 Those my enemies. This portrays the fate, not of church members, but of those who would not have the Lord reign over them. It embraces all the impenitent. Compare Mt 13:49 21:44 25:30:00 2Th 1:8-10.

    So in a nutshell, the bible is an auful book full of violence and hate which caused untold misery around the world.

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:
    bring hither, &c.—(Compare 1Sa 15:32, 33). Referring to the awful destruction of Jerusalem, but pointing to the final destruction of all that are found in open rebellion against Christ.

  • Ahhh, good ole Houston… Religious stone throwing at one another on a real estate blog! No wonder this ‘City’ can’t get anything remotely good done to the urban environment and sustainable development… Well?! That and the developers, YES definitely the developers!

    Adios, Byzantio, Kay’s, Church’s on Scott and Texas Junk Co…. We have officially flushed anything remotely charming and unique about this place down the crapper!

  • I agree with CommonSense – must be the end times! I am not buying what these mega churches are selling – and that’s what they are doing – selling salvation to the sheeple. I wish they would keep the gibberish to themselves instead of trying to foist it on me.

  • Despite the tax laws, the bible is clear on the topic of taxation:
    “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”

    The true beauty of the Bible is that there are enough stories that have been honed, modified and distorted over the years that you can argue six sides of any argument, directly, with quotes.

  • Y’all are not asking the right questions here. We all know churches get to own real property, assets, take in revenue, pay staff and clergy, operate as anything BUT a non-profit operation but have no property taxes…wrong line of thinking. The question to be had is if the expansion will continue the uniform coverage of pink carpeting, or did the inventory liquidation event from 1993 end the availability of this?

    It looks like the pepto-bismol plant next door had a catastrophic event, and this church just went with it.

  • So I wasn’t following this since not an important thread for this blog, but am dismayed to see nobody brought up the important / more relevant topic of “government-subsidized discrimination” that are inherent to most major religions and their affiliated schools.