Second Christian Pastor Charged for Holding Church Services During Coronavirus Lockdown
Another Christian pastor is being charged with crimes for holding church services during the coronavirus lockdown.
Mark Anthony Spell, a Central, La. pastor, is receiving six misdemeanor charges for disobeying Gov. John Bel Edwards’ emergency shutdown edicts after he held church services this past weekend.
“Over the last two weeks I have worked with the sheriff, state police, the state fire marshal, Reverend Tony Perkins, and others to address this matter outside of legal action. Mr. Spell made his intentions to continue to violate the law clear. Instead of showing the strength and resilience of our community during this difficult time, Mr. Spell has chosen to embarrass us for his own self-promotion,” said Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran, who issued the misdemeanor summons to Spell.
“Mr. Spell will have his day in court where he will be held responsible for his reckless and irresponsible decisions that endangered the health of his congregation and our community. This is not an issue over religious liberty, and it’s not about politics. We are facing a public health crisis and expect our community’s leaders to set a positive example and follow the law,” he added.
Spell has allegedly convened six unlawful church services at his Life Tabernacle Church hosting more individuals at his worship proceedings than what is allowed by the state. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said Spell is receiving a misdemeanor count for every time he allegedly violated the edict. They will not charge everyone who gathered unlawfully at the church but will attempt to make an example of Spell because “encouraged others to violate” the law.
“Without his actions, the others would not come,” Moore said. “Practically, it would be very difficult to charge that number of people even if we were not in the crisis we are in.”
Spell sees his case as being paramount for nationwide fight on behalf of religious liberty against tyrannical government.
“This is a scary time for our nation. Our religious freedoms are under persecution and attack,” Spell said. “This is an attack on all Christians across the world.”
“If this is not about religion, then are the Waltons not being issued summons and arrested for keeping Walmart open?” Spell asked. “Nobody will tell us as God fearing Christians and Americans that we are non-essential in our society.”
He vows to continue holding church services publicly in Louisiana no matter what the consequences from the state turn out to be.
“When you close every door in this city, we’ll close this door and we’ll go underground, but we are going to assemble and congregate as God fearing Christians,” Spell said. “If they are to arrest me and take me out of this congregation, my assistant pastor will step in immediately, when he is arrested, the third man will step in.”
Big League Politics reported yesterday on the other pastor who has been charged with holding illegal church services under new coronavirus edicts:
A Pro-Trump pastor has been arrested for hosting churches services in Florida. This appears to be the first case of this kind under the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for Rev. Rodney Howard-Browne the pastor of The River Church, a mega church in Tampa, Florida for hosting two worship services at his church this past Sunday.
State Attorney Andrew Warren remarked, “I think it’s unfortunate that the pastor here is hiding behind the First Amendment. One, it’s absolutely clear that emergency orders like this are constitutional and valid. Second of all, leaders from our faith-based community across this country have embraced the importance of social distancing.”
“Because of the reckless disregard of public safety and after repeated requests and warnings, I worked with our state attorney, Andrew Warren, to obtain a warrant for unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency rules, both of which are second degree misdemeanors,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Our goal here is not to stop anyone from worshiping, but the safety and well-being of our community must always come first.”
Freedom of religion could soon be a lost vestige of the past because of the mass hysteria that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.