A prior article wrote about this pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, who was arrested for having Sunday services in his church despite the stay-at-home order from the state. The order from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated that non-essential businesses should be closed for the time being. Howard-Browne was one of the few pastors who defended the First Amendment with his congregation and continued having their services, despite the warnings of the governors.
During his arrest, the sheriff and the pastor quoted scripture that attacked the Tampa pastor, saying that his decision was reckless. They also implied that Howard-Browne did not care for his congregation because he was supposedly putting his members at risk.
In spite of this, in his next press conference, the Florida governor declared church assembly to be deemed essential activities. He went on to say that during this time period, people would most likely be going to God for faith and hope.
Not too long after this declaration, charges were dropped to Howard-Browne and his River at Tampa Bay Church. The county concluded that Howard-Browne acted responsibly with his congregation, applying social-distancing rules and regulations in his congregation. Not only that, but after the governor’s declaration, they had no choice but to surrender any charges they had against the pastor.