May 16, 2020
Fox8, WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A local pastor and churches all over the state want to hold their church services inside of their buildings.
But Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order is only allowing churches to hold their services outside in parking lots while practicing social distancing.
“We’ve been out long enough, it’s time to get back,” said Pastor Ronnie Baity, who leads Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.
Fighting for change, Pastor Baity, Return America, and People Baptist Church Inc. filed a lawsuit against Gov. Cooper claiming the state’s executive order infringes on the church’s first amendment rights.
People from all over North Carolina attended this rally in agreement. Baity said:
“We asked a federal judge to put this thing on hold to sustain the duration in which we’re going and let us get back into our churches until the lawsuit itself is finally heard, so it’s a restraining order, to begin with” …
The lawsuit also makes mention of how churches should be able to gather like many other businesses.
Pastor Ronnie Baity Facebook post, April 17, 2020:
Next week through our attorney we are sending to Gov. Cooper a statement of intent. The church in North Carolina has been discriminated against by this administration. There should be equal treatment with the church vs businesses.
Businesses may allow 20% of their total occupancy to frequent their businesses while holding the church to a maximum of 10 people. Other issues are also prevalent. We will be asking the governor to give the church equal representation as we will be potentially opening up by the second Sunday of May. We will be putting in place safety issues to protect our people. We would like to know how many pastors will stand with us so that we might give a number in the document to the governor. One truth is obvious.
The church is being treated as non-essential while liquor stores and abortion clinics are considered essential. The governor has also given his ok for vapor stores to operate. Enough freedom has now been squandered. Let’s take a stand. Please reply here so that we may share with the governor the number of pastors who are on board. Thank you. Our organization Return America will also be asking the same question to our mailing list.