Friday, May 22, 2020

Mississippi church fighting coronavirus restrictions burned to the ground

"Bet you stay home now you hypokrits" was written in parking lot at church that had sued the city over its public health orders.

Embers from the remains of the First Pentecostal Church smolder in Holly Springs, Miss., Wednesday, May 20, 2020.Kelly McMillen / Marshall County Sheriff's Office via AP

By Phil Helsel

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he's "heartbroken and furious" after a fire this week at a church that has challenged coronavirus restrictions. The fire is being investigated as arson.

The fire Wednesday in Holly Springs destroyed the First Pentecostal Church, and investigators found graffiti in the church parking lot that reads, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits," NBC affiliate WMC of Memphis reported.

The church was "burned to the ground" and had been trying to open services, Reeves tweeted Thursday.

First Pentecostal filed a lawsuit last month against the city over its public health order on in-person worship services, the station reported.  Read more >>