The First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs on Highway 178 was destroyed in a fire in the early hours on Wednesday, WMC reported. Spray paint cans were found near the church.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves expressed that he was distraught over the incident.
"I am heartbroken and furious", Reeves tweeted Thursday. In Mississippi, a church was just burned to the ground.
Some churches in Minnesota this week said they would resume services in defiance of the governor's orders.
"There was graffiti on the lot which read 'Bet you stay home now you hypocrites.' What is this pandemic doing to us?" Holly Springs doesn't consider churches essential, however, according to WLBT.More news: Jordan Henderson sends message to Chelsea FC star N’Golo Kante
'It is very clear local municipalities can have guidelines that are more strict than the governor's guidelines, but they cannot have guidelines that directly conflict with what we have put in place, ' Reeves said on Wednesday.
MS investigators found the words "Bet you stay home now you hypokrits" spray-painted on the parking lot of a Holly Springs church that burned down early Wednesday morning, a month after the church had legally challenged the city's stay-at-home orders.
Stephen Crampton, senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm representing the church in the lawsuit, said the church's members had been grieving "their inability to gather as a congregation" since the city's order forced the church's closure. At the time, only drive-thru services were permitted. The 14-page suit claims police officers disrupted the church's mid-week bible study and its Easter services 10 days prior.
WMC reported the lawsuit argued Waldrop was holding outdoor services where possible, but would move them indoors and practice social distancing when the weather was bad.More news: Probes launched into inmate's COVID-19 death
After growing frustration with the city's executive orders, the first of which was issued March 23, the church's pastor, Jerry Waldrop, confronted city officials at a demonstration at a local Walmart.
Our most honest prayers are with the people of this church and their pastor.
'We've collected evidence and stuff we are trying to get identified through several different companies and stuff to perhaps give us some leads and lead us in a direction we can find the person or persons responsible for this fire, ' Major Kelly McMillen told WREG.
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer.More news: Coronavirus to push 60 million into extreme poverty