Competing for greater market share with the promise of better-than-ever coverage, cellular companies are always on the lookout for new places to construct cell towers. That means pastors and church financial directors will continue to be approached—and sometimes even hounded—by companies hoping to build antennas into steeples, disguise them as crosses and bell towers, and slap them on spires.
These arrangements promise hundreds or thousands of dollars per month in lease fees to cash-strapped churches. But the possible pitfalls include hidden tax burdens, opposition from activists and neighbors, and leases that hamstring the church from expansion.
Pluses and minuses
A quick internet search finds a few examples of churches embroiled in arguments with neighbors and others over whether the tower will change the neighborhood's character. Others oppose the towers out of fears over health problems from electromagnetic radiation—a factor the federal government and multiple studies have dismissed.