A Downey Municipal Court judge has granted a six-month delay in the trial of Pastor Al Howard, to allow the minister time to attempt to move a controversial home for unwed mothers from Downey to Long Beach.
Howard, pastor of the Confirmed Word Faith Center in Downey, was charged last April with 10 misdemeanor violations of city health, fire, building and zoning codes after he began operating a home for unwed mothers that city officials said was a fire hazard.
In Municipal Court Tuesday, Howard told Judge Reynaldo Chaparro that he has purchased an option to buy the Christians in Action missionary training center in Long Beach. The judge decided to delay the trial until Sept. 2, over the objections of City Prosecutor Martin Mayer, who has claimed that Howard is keeping approximately 20 women and children in unsafe conditions. Howard has admitted the violations, but said that city officials are being too aggressive in enforcing the law and that the women and children staying at his center have no place to go.