Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi is suing the police department after officers issued $500 tickets to more than 20 congregants and shut down the church's drive-in worship service Wednesday evening.
In junction with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the church filed a lawsuit Friday challenging Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons' executive order that bans churches from having drive-in services.
Temple Baptist Church has been holding such services over the past three weeks without breaking the social distancing mandate. During the services, church members sit in their own vehicles with the windows rolled up and listen to Pastor Arthur Scott on the radio as he preaches from inside the church.
ADF senior counsel Ryan Tucker claims the government is abusing its authority.
"Government is clearly overstepping its authority when it singles out churches for punishment, especially in a ridiculous fashion like this. In Greenville, you can be in your car at a drive-in restaurant, but you can't be in your car at a drive-in church service. That's not only nonsensical, it's unconstitutional, too."