Police Interrupt Palm Sunday Service After Neighbor Reports Church

By Dan O'Donnell

April 6, 2020

A Palm Sunday service at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in West Bend, Wisconsin were briefly interrupted when police officers arrived to enforce the state's ban on public gatherings of ten people or more in religious institutions.

"What's going on?" asked Pastor Joseph Fisher as a staffer interrupted his sermon to let him know that police had arrived after a neighbor called to report the church.

"There's been a complaint about the gathering of a group that is against the Governor's orders and the police are here," the staffer said.

"I have the law, it's 10 or fewer [people] in a room," Fisher answered.

"Police are here with a document and are asking us to evacuate the building for now," the staffer replied.

"Everybody?"

"Other than those who are conducting the service."

"Thank you, Dave," Fisher responded. "I'm so sorry."

He then resumed the service. In a message posted on the church's YouTube page later Sunday, Fisher explained that the neighbor was mistaken and officers determined that Pilgrim Lutheran was not in violation of the Governor's order.

"Sorry for the interruption during the sermon but the Police were called by a neighbor who thought we were breaking the law, but it was determined after reviewing the State orders that we were not," Fisher wrote. "God Bless and stay safe."

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