Issues between the pastor who defied the Hillsborough County, Florida Safer at Residence Order, Rodney Howard Browne, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Workplace are heating up now that Howard-Browne has made severe allegations of Sheriff Chad Chronister being “after him.” Rodney Howard-Browne defied an order to not assemble in a gaggle of greater than ten individuals and bussed individuals to his residence church the place they attended two companies on Sunday, March 29, 2020. In keeping with Sheriff Chronister, the division had unsuccessfully reached out to the pastor to get him to obey the order, however to no avail. After video footage of roughly 400 individuals attending the church went viral, Sheriff Chronister referred to as for Rodney Howard-Browne’s arrest. The pastor was arrested and launched inside hours. He faces two misdemeanor fees for illegal Meeting and Violation of Public Well being Emergency Guidelines.
The case is fascinating as a result of Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is aware of President Donald Trump and prayed over him within the Oval Workplace together with President Trump’s non secular advisor Paula White, who additionally has ties to a Tampa-based ministry. Paula White and her ex-husband Randy White based the megachurch With out Partitions earlier than their divorce and Paula White’s remarriage to Journey member Jonathan Cain.
Rodney Howard-Browne held a stay YouTube stream the place he not solely introduced he had shut down the church, however acknowledged his members are receiving dying threats, the church has been fired at, and he’s fearful that if his church continues to congregate, they’ll all be arrested.
Rodney Howard-Browne acknowledged the next.
“I really don’t have any alternative. What individuals don’t know, is that from Monday, I really shut the entire church down— I shut the ministry down. And we in all probability have not more than 9 individuals there at any time. Simply with the important companies from the meals ministry and simply caring for what must occur. So there’s been nothing there the entire week. And I’ve no alternative — I’ve no alternative at this juncture however to close the church down this Sunday. There can be no church on the River this Sunday. I do know some persons are saying, ‘Nicely, he’s caving.’ No, I’m not. And let me inform you why I’ve to do that. I’ve to do that to guard the congregation — not from the virus, however from the tyrannical authorities!
“As a result of all the fees in opposition to me are completely bogus. Now, I’m not going to get into the case and no matter — I’ve forgiven the sheriff and that’s it — that’s all I’m going to say about that. It didn’t occur the best way they are saying.”
Rodney Howard-Browne continued.
“The explanation I’m going to close the church down is as a result of primary, the media have drug this factor out and blown it out of proportion. So now our church persons are getting threats — dying threats. We’ve had individuals fireplace on the constructing at evening, fireplace from the freeway, and that is loopy. It’s like gone nuts. And then the truth that it was intimated that we’ve armed guards. We had no armed guards, there Sunday. We really had two sheriffs there.
“The massive factor is that I don’t need us to have a service, then they arrive, raid the church, and begin arresting all my pastors and different members of the congregation.”
You might even see the total video announcement under.
It seems that Sheriff Chad Chronister disagrees with Rodney Howard-Browne’s model of occasions, and now there’s a new twist within the case that’s asking who has authority in a public well being disaster: the church or the state?
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a widespread keep at residence order however didn’t embrace church buildings or set a restrict on how many individuals could congregate in a spot of worship.
So now the query is who has extra authority: the church, the county, or the state?
Keep tuned for extra on this growing story. At this level, it’s unclear whether or not Rodney Howard-Browne will maintain his church doorways closed this coming Sunday.
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