FL megachurch pastor arrested for hosting packed worship services amid pandemic

by Daniel Payne · Mar 30th, 2020 2:10 pm

A Florida megachurch pastor has been arrested on charges of unlawful assembly and health violations after he continued to hold packed worship services in defiance of local social distancing laws.

Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of River Church in Tampa, had previously vowed to keep his church open and functioning normally despite local ordinance forbidding large gatherings. Following a recent heavily attended service, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department put out a warrant for his arrest.

Howard-Browne turned himself in to authorities on Monday.

Hillsborough law forbids gatherings of more than 10 individuals and mandates a strict six-foot radius around individuals. Pictures and video from Howard Browne's church showed hundreds attending on Sunday:


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