This Church Refused To Close So Someone Burned It Down
First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs in Mississippi burned to the ground in an act of arson after filing a lawsuit to fight coronavirus shutdown.
A Mississippi church that refused to close its doors during the coronavirus lockdown burned to the ground early Wednesday. The First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs had a pending lawsuit against the local government to keep its doors open. Now, the church finds itself at the center of an arson investigation after the arsonist left a disturbing calling card at the scene.
It seems someone attempted to silence these Christians with fire.
First Pentecostal Church Fire Sparks Arson Investigation
An arsonist left their mark after they burned down the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs. Afterwards, graffiti could be seen on the parking lot that read “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits.”
First #Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi, refused to close due to #COVID19 restrictions and in retaliation the #Church was set ablaze today. The Arsonists spray painted these words in the pavement, “BET YOU STAY HOME NOW YOU HYPOKRITS”. pic.twitter.com/FjvrBTt1Qk
— Rev. Stephen M Leach (@revstephenleach) May 20, 2020
Officials found that the church was vandalized and a large explosion occurred in the back of the building.
This clearly was a violent act and a threat towards the church and its flock. Its worshiping Christians practiced social distancing and refused to be told to go home.
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But, the First Amendment protects Freedom of Religion. So the First Pentecostal Church is fighting back and promises to rebuild.
A church is often the heart of a community. But someone who worships big government rather than God wanted this church gone.
Some even speculate that those behind the church arson have a larger and even more devious end game.
This is only the beginning. I believe there is an organized effort by leftists to lay blame on people of faith for the spread of this virus. The media and leftist politicians are encouraging it. What do you think will be the result? Violence.https://t.co/cQoYKMiaKl
— 🇺🇸MAGA Meg🇺🇸 (@CaliTrumpLady) May 21, 2020
First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs’ Lawsuit
In April, Pastor Jerry Waldrop filed a lawsuit in response to local shutdown orders that demanded his church shutter its doors.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reed had an exemption for churches that was ignored by the local government.
It is believed that this arsonist started the devastating fire to scare the church into submission.
The Daily Wire reported on the lawsuit:
The 14-page document claims local police officers disrupted a mid-week bible study and the church’s Easter service 10 days prior,” reported WLBT 3.
The complaint says Waldrop “held outdoor services when possible but would hold them indoors while practicing social distancing during inclement weather,” the report noted, adding that the pastor “asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the City from preventing services inside the church building.”
“It is very clear local municipalities can have guidelines that are more strict than the governor’s guidelines, but they cannot have guidelines that directly conflict with what we have put in place,” Gov. Reeves said Wednesday at a press conference.
Waldrop had been holding services outside during the pandemic but would take them indoors if weather became acclimate.
Arson Inspires Church To Renew Its Fight
Now, the church and its lawyers believe it was burned to ground because of the fight for its constitutional rights. But the Mississippi church won’t let this cowardly act of arson deter its mission.
“We’re in a time where I don’t think it’s any secret that there’s a growing hostility toward churches, across the board,” the lawyer said. “And now, here are churches like First Pentecostal that are sort of stirring up the waters by being outspoken and somewhat firm about seeking to protect their Constitutional rights.”
“We’re in a time where I don’t think it’s any secret that there’s a growing hostility toward churches, across the board,” the church’s lawyer Stephan Crampton from the Thomas More Society said. “And now, here are churches like First Pentecostal that are sort of stirring up the waters by being outspoken and somewhat firm about seeking to protect their Constitutional rights.”