Church founders speak out on victory against city in soccer stadium fight



ORLANDO, Fla. - For the first time since a little church won its battle against the city of Orlando, the founding family sat down for an on-camera interview.

On Monday, it was announced that Faith Deliverance Temple will get to remain where it is and the city is now moving the Major League Soccer Stadium west.

"I said, 'God we did it. We did it. We won. We won. The little church and the big Goliath, the city," said church founder Catherine Williams.

Williams founded the church with her husband and moved to the land 30 years ago.

Her year-and-a-half long fight to save her church ended with Monday's announcement from Mayor Buddy Dyer.

"We are announcing today that we are dropping the eminent domain proceedings," said Dyer.

WFTV called to break the news to the Williams family.

"When I got the phone call from you, I was headed home from work for lunch," said founding family member Jonathan Williams. "Absolutely ecstatic."

"I just cried. It was so profound that the city had suddenly dropped it. I was just saying, 'God, I thank you, God I thank you,'" said Catherine Williams.

Even the church's attorneys were surprised at the news.

"In terms of faith, people were praying. In terms of law, this is the first case to test changes to law that were made in 2006," said Andrew Brigham of Brigham Property Rights.

Brigham orchestrated the legal strategy that ended with a win in less than two months after he took the case.

He made it clear to the city that he'd take the case all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.

"The power of eminent domain can no longer be used for economic development," said Brigham.

Now, for the first time since that law passed, there's a case to show for it.

"I am on top of the world," said Jonathan Williams.

The city of Orlando said the move west is better for everyone, but it will require the city to put the stadium on top of a block of the historic Parramore Avenue.