The Marshall County (Mississippi) Sheriff’s Department is investigating as arson, the burning-down of the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs, MS, as reported by MSN.com news.
What makes this decidedly local story relevant to a nation-wide audience is that the pastor of First Pentecostal, Rev. Jerry Waldrop, recently sued the Holly Springs city government against the COVID-19 prompted stay-at-home order.
MSN is also reporting that the Marshall County S.D. cited that a none-too-subtle (and poorly spellchecked) graffiti message was also found on-site.
“Bet you stay home now you hypokrites” was found spray painted on the parking lot asphalt.
Along with the rather illiterate message was also painted the atom symbol with the letter “A” inside, according to the New York Times, which is also used as the logo for militant atheist groups.
To make things even more interesting, MSN is also reporting;
Waldrop sued the city in April, saying police disrupted an Easter church service and Bible study.
City Attorney Shirley Byers said the church had violated quarantine rules by gathering in a group of nearly 40.
Waldrop argued the parishioners had been practicing social distancing inside and had only congregated indoors when weather left no other option.
Gov. Tate Reeves’s (R) statewide restrictions have treated churches as essential services and allowed them to remain open, but the city’s rules were more stringent. In late April, it amended its order to allow drive-thru church services, according to the AP.
Byers said Waldrop’s lawsuit has not yet been served.
In the meantime, Gov. Reeves sent his condolences to the faithful of First Pentecostal;
What is this pandemic doing to us? We need prayer for this country. pic.twitter.com/TdGHqs9evv
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) May 21, 2020