North Carolina church tells its members they won’t be following mask mandate

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Charlotte church is telling its members they won’t be following Mecklenburg County’s recently passed mask mandate.

Religious institutions were originally exempt from the county’s mask mandate.

However this week, the board of county commissioners voted 5-4 to eliminate that exemption for churches, mosques, synagogues, and others places of worship.

Penny Maxwell, one of the Senior Pastors at Freedom House Church, posted a video on Instagram that their members will not need to wear a mask.

“We will not, N-O-T, be requiring anybody at Freedom House to wear a mask,” Maxwell said. “I think Mecklenburg County is messing with the wrong people.”

It’s not yet clear when the mask mandate will go into effect or how it will be enforced.

Freedom House appears to be the first local place of worship to come out publicly against the mask mandate. Maxwell said she would be fighting it in court.

“Our lawyers are ready to go,” Maxwell said in the social media video.

FOX 46 reported last month that Freedom House offered to write religious exemptions to its church members in the face of vaccine mandates.

The largest COVID outbreak in Mecklenburg County was connected to events at a church, the United House of Prayer for All People, where there were more than 200 positive cases and 12 deaths.

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