Justice Department takes church’s side in 1st Amendment suit

The Justice Department took the rare step of weighing in on the side of a Mississippi Christian church where local officials had tried to stop Holy Week services broadcast to congregants sitting in their cars in the parking lot.

By

News

April 15, 2020 - 10:38 AM

This image provided by Alliance Defending Freedom shows the sign for parking lot church services outside of Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., on April 9, 2020. The Justice Department has weighed in on a local Mississippi case involving a church that says its religious freedoms were violated. Temple Baptist in Greenville has been holding drive-in services for congregants during the coronavirus outbreak. (Alliance Defending Freedom via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department took the rare step on Tuesday of weighing in on the side of a Mississippi Christian church where local officials had tried to stop Holy Week services broadcast to congregants sitting in their cars in the parking lot.

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, leaders at Temple Baptist Church in Greenville began holding drive-in services for their congregation on a short-wave radio frequency from inside an empty church save for the preacher.

Arthur Scott, the 82-year-old pastor, said Tuesday that it was a good compromise for his group, a “wonderful way to preach the gospel and still it’s like they are there, but you can’t go out and see them, but you know they’re there.”

Related
April 13, 2020
April 12, 2020
March 27, 2020
March 29, 2012