Mississippi Church Suing Over Pandemic Restrictions Destroyed by a Suspected Arson Fire

A church in Holly Springs, Mississippi was burned to the ground and police suspect it was arson.

Just a month before, the pastor of the Pentecostal church had sued the city over its lockdown of churches. Sound fishy?

The church held services outside anytime the weather permitted but they were cited for a service inside the church in which police claim the service was not conducted with proper social distancing. The paster and church members insist that they did practice social distancing when they were inside.

Jerry Waldrop, the pastor of the church, said:

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

The state of Mississippi has declared churches as essential but the city placed draconian orders and lockdowns on houses of worship.

From Time

Waldrop had filed a lawsuit against the city of Holly Springs last month, alleging police officers had disrupted a church bible study and Easter service. Holly Springs City Attorney Shirley Byers said nearly 40 parishioners inside the church building were not practicing social distancing on April 10 when a violation citation was issued for the church.

Churchgoers practiced social distancing while indoors and only held indoor services when bad weather would not allow them to gather outside, the lawsuit said. Waldrop’s complaint also asked for a temporary restraining order to keep city officials from preventing church services.

While Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’s safer-at-home order allowed churches to operate as essential businesses, Byers said the city did not give churches the same latitude until they amended their local order in late April to allow for drive-thru services. She said Waldrop’s lawsuit has yet to be served.

Authorities are offering a reward for tips on the arson investigation.

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