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Large ministry conference continues in Woodland Park, despite public health order

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WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- A four-day Andrew Wommack minister's in-person conference with as many as a thousand people is underway at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, despite a state public health order prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 175 people.

But now Teller County is calling on the court to bar Wommack from hosting any more large gatherings at the ministry's compound.

Andrew Wommack Ministries moved forward with the conference after a federal appeals judge denied the group's request for a restraining order against the state to hold the conference which began on Monday.

The church alleges that the state public health order limiting large gatherings to 175 people in unconstitutional and discriminates against religious events.

Sheryl Decker with Teller County told KRDO that the department is "pleased and relieved that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Andrew Wommack Ministries' request to enjoin Colorado's public health laws to hold a large conference in Teller County during a pandemic."

However, Andrew Wommack Ministries sent KRDO a statement saying the organization "intends to exercise our First Amendment rights and hold the conference." The group says it put in extensive safety protocols, including social distancing.

In response, the Teller County Public Health Department filed a motion to the district court late Tuesday asking for an injunction against Andrew Wommack Ministries. The motion asks the court to issue an official order barring large gatherings.

The motion filed by Teller County and Colorado public health representatives also calls on Andrew Wommack Ministries to provide a reason why it shouldn't be held in contempt for disobeying the public health order and subsequent cease and desist order.

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Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is the Assistant News Director for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.


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