GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Some Gwinnett County residents are taking a Methodist church to court. The argument is over hundreds of acres of property given to the church as green space that is now on sale.
Back in 1973, Ludie Simpson sold the 228 acres of the Simpson Retreat Property, which fronts the Chattahoochee River in Peachtree Corners, for $1 to the North Georgia United Methodist Church with the caveat that it remain green space.
The land is now worth millions of dollars and the church is taking steps to sell it, upsetting some residents.
"She trusted them to be the trusties of her property, to look out for her after she was gone and make sure that this property remained intact," said Laurie Slaff. "This was near and dear to her heart...and unfortunately the church has betrayed that trust."
In court, the church argued that the agreement to keep the property as green space is valid only for 20 years. The church cited that litigation as reason not to comment further on the matter.