Carrie Dedrick | Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com Churches in Lake Worth, Florida have been ordered to obtain business licenses to continue operating.
According to Fox News, city officials went so far as to send an undercover code enforcement officer to a congregation that meets in a coffee house to report back on what occurred at the weekly service.
Lake Worth’s Common Ground Church owns the coffee house and had been using the space for worship services for three months. When Common Ground pastor Mike Olive heard that city commissioner Andy Amoroso believed the church was anti-gay, the pastor reached out to Amoroso.
The code enforcement officer’s report read in part, “I walked back to the Coffee Bar and was able to visualize, in my opinion what appeared to be a ministry in progress.”
He saw “people holding what appeared to be Bibles or religious books as one had a cross on it” and “what appeared to be a ministry in progress.”
The officer also captured a video of the proceedings on a hidden camera.
All churches in the city have now been served with orders to obtain business licenses, a demand that Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver says violates the First Amendment, as well as a variety of other laws.
Still, Waters warns that churches that do not comply with the regulations risk being shut down.