Former Utah-based religious sect stirs controversy in Idaho town

The Associated Press/September 15, 2009

Fort Hall, Idaho - A plan by a self-described religious sect to build a three-story dormitory in Fort Hall has drawn protest from local residents.

Roughly three dozen members of The Church of the Firstborn and General Assembly of Heaven moved to a home on Reservation Road from Utah earlier this summer, the Idaho State Journal reported. On Monday, more than 100 people packed the Land Use Policy Commission meeting for a public hearing on the group's dormitory proposal.

Neighbor Jennie Bloxham says she's concerned the group is placing too much stress on a well shared by four homes in the neighborhood. Others said they fear the influx of people will overload the septic system.

Group member Geody Harman declined to comment. The sect hasn't made any formal statement about its move to Idaho. According to its Web site, the sect was started by Terrill Dalton, who was excommunicated from the Mormon church and now claims to be the Holy Ghost.

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