CENTRAL - It was a packed service Sunday morning at Life Tabernacle Church in Central.
"We've come together this morning to celebrate a tremendous victory that the Lord had brought for us," Pastor Tony Spell said. "We're very thankful for this day. We're thankful for the Supreme Court, the attorneys and everyone that stood with us for two years now."
In March 2020, Pastor Spell was cited for holding large church gatherings during a statewide stay-at-home order issued because of the COVID pandemic.
"When the first citation from March 17th was issued on that Tuesday evening against us, we were shaken," the pastor said. "To say that we were not shaken would be a lie."
Spell was later arrested for defying those orders.
"Those who thought they could take us down for the past two years, the Supreme Court has now said that everything you've done to us was illegal," Spell said.
On Friday, May 13, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Spell, ruling that the mandate and other restrictive orders were unconstitutionally applied to the pastor and his church.
"Everything you did was wrong, and now because of what you did, there's now a religious liberty precedent that's been set. That's going to go for generations," the pastor said.
Now, Spell says they plan to file charges.
"We're filing this week for wrongful arrests, forbidden to leave the front door of our house, ankle bracelet, the shame, the humility, the damage, irreparable damage done to us, so we're going after them now," Spell said.