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Praising the Lord too loudly could land you behind bars, a South Carolina pastor has learned. Johnnie Clark was found guilty of unlawful sound amplification last week, after repeated noise violations. He was convicted after a three-day trial.

Officers had been called to the church 50 times, because of the complaints of one neighbor. Clark had to pay a fine on top of a two-week jail sentence. “I just can’t believe it, for serving God, jail time? What’ next?” said the pastor’s wife, First Lady Harriet Clark.

“They’re trying to tell us not to worship, not how to worship, how not to worship,” she said. “Our services don’t start ’til 7:30 so they’r telling us we’re only having 30 minutes to worship.”

Mrs. Clark had to lead the congregation without her husband for the first time in 30 years. She believes that sound proofing the building is the only solution to ending the complaints.

Partitioners say their rights are being violated as city laws make no specifications for noise ordinances.


Photo: KHOU

[Spotted at: The Grio]