LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Lake Jeffrey Road in Lake City is a busy street and its elevation is much higher than New Beginnings Restoration Church. The stormwater runs directly from the street onto the church property.
"It comes from the ditches," Bishop Ronald Williams said.
Some days it is so flooded, it is impossible to attend church services.
"The Suwanee Management District exempted these ditches from any type of regulations," he said.
Bishop Ronald Williams purchased the church and its property in 2013. He said it has flooded at least ten times since he moved.
"When it gets really really wet," Williams said. " water just runs inside the church."
The retired marine is fighting back, He is convinced that the problem is directly related to the poor design of the drainage system.
Now the walls of the building are shifting. Inside there's separation in the ceiling
"My biggest fear is that if they don't fix it that this building and this property will not be usable," Williams said. "these walls will continue to fall out."
In February he hired a Gainesville law firm and gave Columbia County legal notice.
"We're in negotiations with them and hopefully they can do the right thing," Williams said.
Joel Foreman is the Attorney for Columbia County. He gave on On Your Side a short statement.
"The county has been given legal notice related to these issues and it is inappropriate to comment on it," Foreman said.
He said he has much respect for Bishop Williams and even spoke of the great work they're doing in the community but declined to discuss the issue.
"You can see the roof bowing out here and you see the walls bowing out as well," Williams said.
Bishop Williams said they're in negotiations with the county and hope to resolve the issue peaceably.
But if they can't he is poised and ready to take it to court.