Men claiming to be "God" blow off court date, continue to occupy non-profit's building

The two men call themselves founders of the Church of Urth. (Image: WTVC)

Two men calling themselves "God" continue to occupy a building previously used to help Chattanooga's Homeless.

When Mercy Junction tried to kick the men out of their building last month, they said they planned to fight eviction in court.

Monday, they blew off their chance to be heard in front of a judge, and now, the saga continues.

Tenants of the building say in the last few weeks they've been approached by hungry kids as young as six years old, but the the place where they could usually find a snack is closed.

Morgan Koch is an artist, but she hasn't been able to create for the past few weeks.

Her studio sits in the building two men claiming to be God refuse to leave.

"This process has kind of prevented me from working because of all the threatening messages and behavior," she said.

Mercy Junction says Ryan Homes and Tyler Short are posting threatening things about demons and cults on social media, which is preventing several other tenants from using their space.

The organization says those actions are breaking a clause in their lease.

The two men call themselves founders of the Church of Urth. When we interviewed them a couple weeks ago, Holmes told us he doesn't believe their posts are violating the lease, and they planned to fight the eviction in court. However, they didn't show up for their hearing Monday.

Related: Organization says two men claiming to be God are blocking its service to homeless people

Holmes, who's name is on the lease, didn't answer the door when we went to the building Monday, but in a Facebook message told us he doesn't believe he can be evicted.

In his message, Holmes said that no one has stepped forward to issue legitimate court action and that the court acts under false pretense.

Joan Flores rents space to do work for a non profit cat rescue group. Her husband, Robin, is representing Mercy Junction in court.

He says it will take another court date for the organization to regain possession of the space. Then, the organization can have the sheriff's department forcefully remove the Church of Urth.

He also showed us pictures of damage the organization says the men have done over the last few weeks.

"When they were locked out of one particular spot, they broke into it," he said.

Flores says Mercy Junction did not ask the Church of Urth to repay them for any damages. They just want the two men to leave.

Depend on us to keep you posted on this story.

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