A Mississippi church that suffered an arson incident is also in a battle with the city over a Wuhan virus shelter order.
According to investigators, First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs was allegedly destroyed by an arsonist.
Investigators discovered graffiti on pavement in the church parking lot that read, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits (sic).”
According to WLBT 3, Jerry Waldrop has been the church’s pastor for 31 years.
“We’ve tacked our brains and we have no idea,” Waldrop stated. “No enemies that we know of. We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”
The fire came after Waldrop sued the City of Holly Springs in April. The 14-page document alleges that local police officers abruptly interrupted a mid-week bible study and the church’s Easter service 10 days earlier.
According to the complaint, the pastor conducted outdoor services when circumstances permitted but would hold them indoors while complying with social distancing standards when the weather got bad.
The complaint also demanded a temporary restraining order to keep Holly Springs from keeping services from taking place inside the church building.
The issue arose from Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ inclusion of churches with essential businesses in the state’s shelter order, but Holly Springs did not so.
“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 May 20.
Holly Springs City Attorney Shirley Byers stated that the city did not consider churches essential businesses in the shelter order enacted on March 23 but subsequently amended on April 24 to let churches conduct drive-thru services.
Byers said in an incident April 10 roughly 35 to 40 congregants were gathered inside the First Pentecostal Church and were not practicing social distancing standards, which is what propelled the citation for not complying with the local emergency order.
Although she says that even though the complaint has been filed, it has not officially been served. In other words, they can’t proceed with the lawsuit.
Waldrop did not comment on the lawsuit but says he is focusing most of his time on rebuilding the church.
“We have a tight group that’s been faithful, so whatever means is necessary that’s what we’ll do,” stated Waldrop.
Investigators are offering a reward for tips leading to the arrest of the arson suspect. The fire is still being investigated.
Southern Baptist Convention Reverses Course on Name Change After BLP Reporting
They say they’re not changing their name.
The Southern Baptist Convention has sought to dispel reporting from Big League Politics on the organization’s planned name change, arguing that the institution isn’t formally changing its name.
To correct multiple inaccurate reports, “We Are Great Commission Baptists” is the 2021 Annual Meeting THEME.
The GCB descriptor was approved in 2012 for churches to use if it would be helpful in their local context.
The Southern Baptist Convention remains our official name.
— SBC Executive Committee (@SBCExecComm) September 17, 2020
But a close look at the American Christian church’s plans relating to its name reveal that it’s played with the idea far more seriously than they’re making it seem.
Reports of a name change first emerged in a Washington Post article published on Tuesday. SBC President JD Greear told the Post that “hundreds of churches” affiliated with the denomination had “committed” to using the phrase “Great Commission Baptist” as an alternative to the denomination’s longtime moniker. The change would come as Greear touts his support of the Black Lives Matter, although he’s been careful in pointing out he doesn’t support any formal organization related to the movement. Greear also is renaming the church he personally pastors with the term.
The SBC’s 2021 convention will also organize under the motto of “We Are Great Commission Baptists.” Sounds a lot like a name change, even if the SBC’s leadership is steadfastly maintaining it isn’t.
The name ‘Great Commission Baptist’ is theologically sound in the Christian religion, but it’s somewhat questionable that the organization’s leader appears to be emphasizing it at a moment in which political correctness is making its entryism into many Christian churches and organizations.
It seems as if the organization’s figurehead is keen to present himself as a liberal-style suburban Evangelical to the Washington Post, but he changed his tune quite quickly when the rank and file membership of Southern Baptist churches learned that he was promoting the idea of a name change.
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