A church in Louisville drops lawsuit after mayor allows drive-in worship services
On Fire Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has agreed with city officials to end its lawsuit against an order that banned churches from holding drive-in worship services. Mayor Greg Fischer has decided to allow churches to conduct drive-in worship services so long as they abide by social distancing guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, according to attorneys representing the church.
The agreement comes after the ‘On Fire Christian Church’ was granted a temporary restraining order against Fischer’s April directive temporarily prohibiting churches from holding in-person and drive-in worship services to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The church claimed that the directive violated its constitutional rights to assembly.
“We are grateful to Mayor Fischer and Louisville city officials who worked with us to ensure their policies are both consistent with the Constitution and the CDC’s guidelines. … During this challenging time, we need to see more of this kind of cooperation between government officials and the religious community,” Roger Byron, an attorney representing the church from the First Liberty Institute, said in a statement.
With stay-at-home orders in place statewide, the church had been hosting drive-in church services consistent with CDC guidelines in its parking lot for several weeks. During those services, cars were instructed to park six feet apart, and congregants were asked to remain in their vehicles with the windows no more than half-open.
On the 18th of April, a federal judge granted On Fire Christian Church a temporary restraining order preventing the city from enforcing the Mayor’s directive until the merits of the case were settled. The restraining order allowed the church to go through with its planned drive-in Easter.