A video is going viral of law enforcement telling Pastor Charles Hamilton of King James Bible Baptist Church in Greenville, MS, that his rights are suspended as they broke up a drive-in service he was holding.
Police surrounded the parking lot where Hamilton was hosting a drive-in service on Thursday evening and fined the worshippers $500 per person.
Law enforcement said that Hamilton and the members of the church were violating an order from Democrat Mayor Errick Simmons which prohibits all gatherings.
— Errick D. Simmons (@ErrickDSimmons) March 8, 2020
First Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit legal institution that specializes in religious liberty cases, has sent a letter requesting the ban on drive-in services be lifted.
“Your recent order prohibiting drive-in services leaves him in reasonable fear that he and his church members will be fined and criminally prosecuted for merely engaging in drive-in church services that fall well within the CDC guidelines,” the letter said. “We require Greenville, Mississippi, to withdraw the unconstitutional order that, disturbingly, targets religious exercise.”
King James Bible Baptist Church was not the only church in Greenville that was targeted for holding drive-in services this week.
The church had been broadcasting the services over the radio and were instructing people to stay in their cars with their windows up.
“We have everybody stay in their cars, with their windows up and go to a certain radio station, a low frequency station,” Lee Gordon with Temple Baptist Church told the station.
“The police started coming up and we said, ‘we think we’re within our rights.’ So they started issuing tickets, five hundred dollars tickets,” Gordon said. “I don’t know, it may have been twenty to thirty tickets. Everybody got one. It wasn’t per car. Me and my wife was in a car together and both of us got tickets.”
Gordon said that they still plan to safely attend Easter services.
“This is Easter Sunday, and we want to celebrate Easter Sunday the best way can,” Gordon said.
The state of Kentucky is also cracking down on Easter weekend worshippers by recording the license plates of people who attend services and forcing them to “self-quarantine” for two weeks afterwards.
The action is to discourage people from attending services.
In a statement provided to the Gateway Pundit, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul slammed the governor’s plan.
“Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here,” Senator Paul said.