Friday, May 22, 2020

Mississippi Church Burned To The Ground - Was Suing Over CV Restrictions

A Mississippi church burned in an apparent act of arson is the same church at the center of a legal battle with the city over safer-at-home orders issued in response to the coronavirus, according to officials.
The First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs was destroyed in an early morning blaze Wednesday, local station WMC-TV reported. Investigators said they found a menacing message spray-painted on the pavement of the church’s parking lot, leading them to believe the fire was intentionally set.
“Bet you stay home now you hypokrits (sic),” it read, according to the station.
Gov. Tate Reeves addressed the incident Thursday, saying he was “heartbroken” and “furious.”
“What is this pandemic doing to us?” the governor wrote on Facebook. “We need prayer for this community.”
Reeves also mentioned the fire during a Thursday news conference and promised the state would do “everything in our power to find whomever burned this church down. I’m committed to that ... and I know that the people of Mississippi are committed to that.” 
The fire comes nearly a month after head pastor Jerry Waldrop filed a lawsuit against the city of Holly Springs, taking issue with restrictions put in place amid the pandemic, the Associated Press reported. The 14-page complaint, filed in April, accused local police of disrupting a Bible study and Easter service at the church.
A statewide safer-at-home order issued by Reeves last month allows churches to operate as essential businesses. Holly Springs doesn’t consider churches essential, however, according to WLBT.

Authorities cited First Pentecostal on April 10 for allegedly “violating the local emergency order.” City attorney Shirley Byers told the station there were 35 to 40 people gathered at the church that day — and they weren’t social distancing.

The church argued otherwise in its lawsuit, saying churchgoers kept a safe distance while indoors and only worshiped inside when inclement weather kept them from holding services outdoors. A ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills last month also allowed the church to remain open for drive-in services, according to Fox News.

Stephen Crampton, an attorney for the church, called the city’s action an “outrageous violation of these parishioners’ rights.”

“Due to the threats and the citation of Pastor Waldrop, the church members were fearful of holding services on Sunday and exercising their constitutionally protected rights,” Crampton told Fox News.

Investigators say many of the parishioners were home or out of town when the fire ripped through the church between 2 and 4 a.m. Wednesday, WMC-TV reported.

The fire remains under investigation, with authorities offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.

“We’ve kind of racked our brains and we have no idea,” Waldrop told the station. “No enemies that we know of. We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”

Mississippi Church Suing Over Coronavirus Restrictions Burned Down in Arson Attack, Authorities Say

A Mississippi church that defied Coronavirus restrictions was targeted in an arson attack this week.

The First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs was suing government officials over the authoritarian lockdown after police ordered church members to disperse on Easter Sunday.
The church fought back after it received a citation for violating ‘social distancing’ orders for allowing up to 40 people to congregate for Bible study.
On Wednesday the church was destroyed in a fire.
A church in Mississippi that burned down in what authorities say was an arson attack had previously defied the city’s stay-at-home order and was suing officials over lockdown measures.
The First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs on Highway 178 was destroyed in a fire in the early hours on Wednesday, WMC reported.
According to the station, investigators found evidence that the fire was intentionally set, including graffiti in the church parking lot that said “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits (sic).”

Jerry Waldrop, who has been the church’s pastor, told the WMC that the church has “no enemies that we know of.”
Waldrop said: “We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”
To this day, not one Democrat tyrant can explain why people are allowed to walk into Walmart, but they are not allowed to walk into a church.

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