According to a report from the Charlotte Observer, parishioners attending a popular church in Charlotte's South End are going to have to walk a little bit farther to be nearer to Jesus after a local brewery banned them from using their parking lot on Sundays.
The reason for the ban? A refusal by church leaders to make attendees wear masks as Covid-19 grips the community.
According to Chris Harker, owner of Triple C Brewing Co, he has served notice to the leadership of Freedom House Church that they -- and their flock -- are banned using from the parking lot until further notice.
"We will no longer allow this church to use our parking lot on Sundays," Harker stated before quipping, "Freedom isn't always free I guess."
The report notes that senior pastors of the church, Troy and Penny Maxwell, have made it clear that they will not enforce a mask mandate on their social media accounts, with Pastor Penny stating on Instagram, "Mecklenburg County is messing with the wrong people. Our lawyers are ready to go."
Those comments and others cost churchgoers the convenience of parking in the lot on Sundays which is located a brief two-minute stroll from the massive church campus.
According to the Observer, Harker claimed "...the decision to block the Sunday worshipers was made with the best interests of the overall community in mind. He declined further comment, including answering questions from the Observer about the number of worshipers who parked at the brewery, details of the parking contract and how brewery management plans to enforce the ban."
The observer went on to note that "Mecklenburg County commissioners on Wednesday agreed to remove the exemption for religious organizations from the mask mandate that takes effect on Sept. 22," by a 5-4 vote.
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