Two weeks ago we covered the Central Baton Rouge church, Life Tabernacle, who was openly defying the stay-at-home order by holding large church services. Yesterday this church was back at it, holding an even larger televised Easter Sunday gathering.
According to TMZ Pastor Tony Spell, who was previously arrested after violating the Louisiana law, held an in-person Easter service and says he had more than 1,200 faithful parishioners were in attendance. A video of the service showed members sitting side by side and clearly not following the current rules for social distancing.
Throughout the service, Spell preached against the CDC’s guidelines. This service comes after pastor Spell told TMZ that “if any of his church members die from the virus, they’ll have done so in the name of God and freedom.”
Baton Rouge Central PD Chief Roger Corcoran believes Pastor Spell is defying state guidelines purely to gain publicity for himself and his Life Tabernacle Church. Corcoran states it’s not a First Amendment issue because Spell is jeopardizing the health of his parishioners and all Louisiana residents. Earlier this week the Central PD stated they would not stop the gathering, and instead present it as evidence to the District Attorney for future prosecution.