ARSON: Mississippi Church Torched by Radical Pro-Lockdown was Pressing Lawsuit Against the City Over Shelter Order
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.