Mississippi police on Wednesday issued $500 tickets to more than 20 Christians who were sitting inside their vehicles on church property listening to a sermon from their pastor.
As members of Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, were listening to a radio broadcast of their pastor, Arthur Scott, preaching from inside the church, they were approached by a police officer who was handing out citations for violating the social distancing mandate.
Parishioner Chris Owens posted a video on Facebook of his interaction with the officer.
The video shows the officer asking for identification and advising Owens to leave the church parking lot. The officer explained that drive-in church services were "considered a gathering even though you're in your vehicle."
In a press release from the City of Greenville on Tuesday, Mayor Errick Simmons announced that drive-in church services were also prohibited, along with in-person gatherings.
"The City of Greenville put in place an executive order that orders all church buildings closed for in person and drive-in church services, until the State of Mississippi's Shelter In Place Executive Order No. 1466 is lifted by Governor Tate Reeves," the press release says.