Pastor Tony Spell and his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana have been in the news in recent weeks due to their refusal and firm resolve to continue holding church services in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. After the incident where Pastor Spell was arrested for an alleged assault, he was placed on house arrest by a judge during his bond hearing.
Pastor Spell, despite the house arrest, preached Sunday morning, Sunday night, and even Tuesday night at his church’s midweek service. During one of his sermons he defiantly showed off his ankle monitor. He made it clear both in his hearing last Friday and in his sermons that he had no intention on stopping having church and preaching.
On April 29th, Pastor Spell provided an update on his legal situation to his Facebook page:
As of Monday, April 27, At 10:30am, prior to the 12:00 protest, I was contacted by my lawyer and told that I had until 12:00 noon to pay $25,000 for breaking my house arrest on Sunday morning and Sunday night service, or I would be put in prison.
He said I was a risk to society, even though my congregation has the right to assemble. After negotiations, my lawyer said it was reduced to $15,000.
Following the protest at the Governors mansion, around 2pm, I received a letter from the judge stating that I was a greater threat to the inmates who are a “captive population”, than to my congregation, so he would allow me to remain on house arrest until further notice.
Every time I break house arrest, such as I did Sunday morning, Sunday night and last night to PREACH in my PULPIT, another charge gets added to my case.
An important distinction is that originally they stated that the bus incident was a completely separate issue and was not tied in any way to my strict adherence to Hebrews 10:25 and exercising our right to assemble. True motives were reveal when the bail bond stipulations were used to effectively tie the two “separate” issues together in yet another effort to keep me from preaching to my congregation.
Pastor Spell states that he believes that the “true motives” of the state are revealed because the bail bond stipulations were used to tie the issue of the bus incident and his right to assemble.
This may not be the case, however, as after some research we have found that it is standard practice when people are released on bail that a condition of their bail be that they follow all laws (citation) and as much as Pastor Spell, and others, may disagree with the orders to not assemble in large numbers, it is still seen as a requirement by the courts.
Stay with us at Jesus Name News as we continue to follow this situation as it unfolds!