Mississippi Church Burns Down a Month after Suing over COVID-19 Restrictions

  • Mississippi Church Burns Down a Month after Suing over COVID-19 Restrictions

Mississippi Church Burns Down a Month after Suing over COVID-19 Restrictions

A church in MS 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.

Investigators reported finding graffiti in the parking lot, which read, "Bet you stay home now you hypocrites".

Jerry Waldrop, the church's pastor, said he wasn't sure who would want to burn down the church.

"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.

"No enemies that we know of", Waldrop said.

A MS church was destroyed by a suspected arson fire about a month after its pastor sued the city over gathering restrictions amid the pandemic. We don't know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this'.

Besides, the lawsuit said, services had been a drive-through event - which are now legal in Holly Springs - and only moved indoors because of bad weather. She said Waldrop's lawsuit has yet to be served.

A MS 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. "They have been grieving the inability to gather as a congregation since the COVID-19 pandemic stay home orders forced the closure of their church home and now they must grieve the loss of this spiritual home, their place of worship".

Holly Springs City Attorney Shirley Byers says they ity did not consider churches essential business in the safer-at-home order issued March 23 but amended the order April 24 to allow churches to hold drive-thru services.

"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", Reeves said during a news conference on Wednesday. Additionally, the suit notes that police interrupted a mid-week Bible study and the church's Easter service.

In Mississippi there were 11,967 coronavirus cases and 570 deaths as of Thursday morning.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves spoke out against the attack, asking: "What is this pandemic doing to us?"

Marshall County Sheriff Department criminal investigator Kelly McMillen told the outlet that authorities believe the fire was an arson based on evidence located around the scene and a nearby hill. The fire remains under investigation.