September 2, 2021
Pastor Courtney Lewis, who stood up for religious freedom in Chicago despite his congregation being subjected to a police raid authorized by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, will be in Pocatello preaching a message on religious freedom on Thursday, September 16. The service will take place at Mountain Valley Baptist Church (MVBC), 202 S. 7th Avenue, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Lewis related the incident that brought his church to national attention. “In April 2020,” he said, “the Mayor’s stay-at-home order put us in a bad position, one in which we had to obey God rather than man. The Bible tells us that we must not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Ultimately, we determined to continue meeting.”
The church continued to meet for a time without serious incident. Then, on May 24, they received a letter from City Hall threatening to seize their church building through summary abatement, which would have allowed the City to raze the building to the ground.
The following day, while Lewis was preaching, there was a loud banging on the doors of the church as nine police cars surrounded the building. “Thankfully, our doors were locked as a normal safety precaution we take each service to protect our members from Chicago’s escalating gun violence,” Lewis said. Despite the threat, Lewis continued preaching.
The assault on Lewis’ church was particularly egregious given that liquor stores, abortion clinics, and big box stores were deemed essential and allowed to remain open.
MVBC Pastor Don Whitecar said, “If you are wondering how faith mixes with our responsibility to stand up for our rights, this special service will interest you. It is Biblical to stand up against unconstitutional laws and abusive executive orders that violate our God-given rights as Americans. If we cannot maintain the First Amendment right to assemble to worship, how can we be sure that other rights will not also be compromised?”
Whitecar also commented on the fact that many pastors complied with Lightfoot’s unconstitutional orders, rather than stand up for freedom. “The current erosion of our freedoms is the fault of many Americans who are not taking a stand. Pastors who should lead this fight are cowering under liberal denominational pressures.”
All who would like to hear his story are invited to attend the service at which Lewis will be preaching.
To learn more about Mountain Valley Baptist Church, visit: Mountain Valley Baptist Church