MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Old Lebanon Dirt Road in Mt. Juliet was seriously backed up Friday morning as a long line of vehicles headed to the ReAwaken America Tour at the Global Vision Bible Church.

Earlier this week, the Mt. Juliet Police Department said it found out about the large event planned at 2060 Old Lebanon Dirt Road.

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Since big events at the church’s property have caused traffic and private property issues in the past, officials said they started developing a backup plan to handle blocked roads, unlawful parking, and trespassing. Then, when police started receiving reports about Old Lebanon Dirt Road being blocked on Friday, Jan. 20, they immediately responded.

The department tweeted at 6:27 a.m. that Old Lebanon Dirt Road was congested because of the event at Global Vision Bible Church.

Even though the church is located just outside of city limits, Mt. Juliet police reportedly spent hours working to clear the road and direct traffic.

By 8:22 a.m., parking for the church’s event had reached max capacity, causing police to announce that any abandoned and unlawfully parked vehicle would be towed.

Then, at 9:23 a.m., authorities posted another tweet, saying about 20 to 30 cars were in the process of being towed.

Since the ReAwaken America Tour is expected to last through the weekend at Global Vision Bible Church, officers will continue to be present along Old Lebanon Dirt Road to help keep traffic flowing and assist private property owners with issues, officials said.

Traffic cones and message boards have also been set up to warn drivers about unlawful parking and the tow risk, according to law enforcement.

In addition, Mt. Juliet Police is reportedly coordinating with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office since the church’s event impacts community members in both jurisdictions.

You can read Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick’s full statement about the event response below:

“Earlier this week, our department noticed the advertisement for a planned large event on Global Vision Bible Church’s property at 2060 Old Lebanon Dirt Road. While the church property is outside of Mt. Juliet’s city limits, the roadway of Old Lebanon Dirt Road is in the city limits, and our department has a duty to ensure Old Lebanon Dirt Road remains clear for safe vehicular traffic and emergency response. Additionally, nearby private property owners are also in Mt. Juliet’s city limits, and we have a duty to assist private property owners with trespassing issues.

Previous large events on this property have created extreme congestion by blocking Old Lebanon Dirt Road and private property issues in the past. Therefore the department began developing a contingency plan earlier this week to respond to community-impacting incidents, such as blocked roadways, unlawful parking, and trespassing. Early this morning, we began receiving reports of Old Lebanon Dirt Road blocked, and the department immediately responded.

Officers continue to be present along Old Lebanon Dirt Road as they work to keep traffic flowing. Additionally, officers continue to assist private property owners with trespassing issues, including vehicle abandonment on their property. Digital message boards were deployed that warn motorists of unlawful parking and tow risk, and traffic cones have been placed alongside the road. We are also coordinating with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office due to community impacts spreading across jurisdictional boundaries.

Private entities are not paying for the department’s services, and the City is making efforts to document all costs associated with the response to be reimbursed. The event is scheduled throughout the weekend, and our officers will remain present as they work to limit impacts on our residents and ensure Old Lebanon Dirt Road remains open and safe.”

Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick

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News 2 also reached out to Pastor Greg Locke with Global Vision Bible Church, who sent along the following statement:

“If we were hosting a Pride event, this wouldn’t be an issue and no one would complain but it’s a church so people get nervous and look for problems.”

Pastor Greg Locke