- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Authorities in Mississippi are investigating a fire that destroyed a Pentacostal church that is opposing a stay-at-home order in a federal lawsuit.

The Thomas More Society, the religious liberty advocacy group representing the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs, confirmed in an email that the fire destroyed the church in Holly Springs, Mississippi, early Wednesday.

“We’ve collected evidence and stuff we are trying to get identified through several different companies and stuff to give us some leads and lead us in a direction we can find the person or persons responsible for this fire,” Marshall County sheriff’s office Maj. Kelly McMillen told reporters Wednesday.

The fire is believed to have begun around 2 a.m.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills allowed the church to worship while it challenged Holly Springs’ coronavirus-related stay-at-home order.

The Thomas More Society said Wednesday it was “saddened by the news that a fire destroyed First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs last night.”

“To hear that the authorities are treating this as arson is distressing and we pray that the perpetrators of this terrible event will be brought to justice,” the advocacy group said.

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