Church Gets Another Citation During Sunday Morning Service

10:30 PM, Dec 9, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Rehoboth United Assemblies located on Laurel Street in Columbia is no stranger to getting noise complaints, but Sunday's citation was a little different.

"I firmly believe we are being harassed," said Apostle Johnnie Clark.

Since October, neighbors in some newly developed homes on Laurel Street have been complaining about the noise coming from Rehoboth United Assemblies and today their 11 A.M. service was interrupted when a Columbia Police officer came in to deliver a citation for "creating a public nuisance."

The church has already been to court and had to pay more than $500 in fines for past citations.

"I am not against these neighbors, I pray for them, I pray God forgives them, because it's really not us that they are attacking, they are attacking the spirit of God," said Clark.

Since their court date Apostle Johnnie Clark says the church has started ending night services before 10 PM. Sunday he says they used limited instruments and microphones during morning service and still received a citation.

"Clapping, that's what they call disturbing and creating a public nuisance."

According to the most recent noise ordinance on the city of Columbia's website it says "It shall be unlawful for any person to play any radio, musical instrument in such a manner or with such volume particularly between 10 P.M. and 7 A.M. as to annoy or disturb the quiet."

Clark believes with church having a past of receiving noise complaints, he now feels they are being targeted.

I don't know what else we can do, you complain about my music, so we are trying to accommodate everyone, so we are clapping our hands, we are patting our feet, and it is still being a nuisance, so something is wrong here. I guess they are trying to restrict our praise or tell us we can't praise the Lord. That will never happen. "

We are continuing to ask questions about exactly how the city noise ordinance is enforced.

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