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In Holly Springs, First Pentecostal Church was destroyed in what appears to be an arson fire. When the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the Church on Wednesday morning they discovered graffiti in the parking lot of the Church that said, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites.”
The Pastor of the Church, Jerry Waldrop, was shocked when he was informed that the fire was a result of arson.
“We’ve kind of racked our brains and we have no idea. No enemies that we know of. We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”
– Pastor Jerry Waldrop
A month prior to the fire, Waldrop had filed a lawsuit against the city after police interrupted a Bible study and Easter service issuing a citation for the Church because the worshipers were not adhering to social distancing.
The lawsuit stated that Church members were adhering to social distancing and only held Church services indoors when the weather wouldn’t permit outdoor services. Waldrop also requested a temporary restraining order to keep city officials from preventing Church services.
Under Gov. Tate Reeves’s stay at home order, Churches in Mississippi are considered essential businesses and have been allowed to remain open as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines and limit the size of their indoor gatherings.
Police are currently investigating the fire and are offering a reward for any tips that can assist them in their investigation.