Louisiana pastor defies house arrest, state orders in hosting in-person church services

Louisiana pastor defies house arrest, state orders in hosting in-person church services
Posted at 7:16 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 08:16:33-04

Tony Spell, a pastor in Central, Louisiana, has again defied coronavirus stay-at-home orders in the state and a house arrest order by preaching at a religious service Sunday morning, The Advocate in Baton Rouge report.

Spell was seen at Life Tabernacle Church, where congregants sang and held signs reading "I stand with Pastor Spell," the newspaper reports.

According to the newspaper, an ankle monitor could be seen through the cuffs of Spell's pants.

Spell was arrested earlier this week and booked into parish prison on misdemeanor counts after a protester accused the Pentecostal preacher of nearly hitting him on Sunday with one of the church's school buses.

Spell has continued to hold in-person church services despite an order banning large gatherings that was passed by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Spell was arrested and released on March 31 for defying the order, and upon his release, he held an in-person church service at Life Tabernacle Church.

In early April, Spell hired Roy Moore — the former Alabama Supreme Couty judge whose 2017 Senate campaign failed when he was alleged to have molested an underaged girl — to represent him.

Louisiana's "Stay At Home" order is set to expire on April 30.

To read the Advocate's story and see all the photos, click here.

This story was originally published by KATC in Lafayette, Louisiana.

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