Tags: Coronavirus | Religion | pastor | charged | louisiana | coronavirus

Second Pastor Charged With Holding Large Gathering

Second Pastor Charged With Holding Large Gathering
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 March 2020 09:43 PM

A second church pastor in as many days has been charged with violating orders against holding large gatherings in efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in suburban Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was an misdemeanor summons on Tuesday on six counts of violating Gov. John Bel Edward's executive order against holding large gatherings, according to a Facebook post by the city of Central's police department.

"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, Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said.

"This is not an issue over religious liberty, and it’s not about politics," Corcoran said. "We are facing a public health crisis and expect our community’s leaders to set a positive example and follow the law."

Spell disagreed, saying in a Facebook Live post "We have not broken any law. We will not break any law.

"We will continue to have church," he said. "This is a government overreach. They are asking us as a government to stop practicing our freedom of religion. And we have a mandate from God to assemble and to gather together and to keep doing what we're doing."

The summons comes a day after a Florida megachurch pastor was arrested for violating that state's order against large gatherings.

Rodney Howard-Browne in Sunday's sermon compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the flu and dismissed public health experts' advice.

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"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, Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said.
pastor, charged, louisiana, coronavirus
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2020-43-31
Tuesday, 31 March 2020 09:43 PM
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