NEWS

Its pastor is jailed for persistently defying state law.

The Faith Baptist Church School of Louisville, Nebraska, has quarrelled with state authorities for five years. State laws require that all schools be licensed, but the Faith Baptist fundamentalists have refused state licensure because it violates their religious conviction, they say.

Last month, the struggle erupted again. For the second time in two years, the county judge ordered the church—where school is held—padlocked except during regular worship hours. Some 85 fundamentalist pastors from throughout the nation, protesting the lockup, were bodily removed by 18 lawmen. Two days later, the church was reopened for a Wednesday evening service. The ministers vowed that, once inside, they would not leave the church. County Judge Raymond Case suspended his order to have the church relocked after the service, but he did not promise chains would never go back on the doors. Classes resumed in the building the following day.

Roy Thompson, a Cleveland pastor, and Moral Majority national secretary Greg Dixon, an Indianapolis fundamentalist pastor, negotiated with authorities for a resolution. CT assistant news editor Rodney Clapp went to Louisville while Faith pastor Everett Sileven was jailed for violation of court orders and then released. Here is his report:

In Nebraska, the Louis in Louisville is pronounced as it is spelled—no French frills. Louisville is situated on the Platte River, just off Interstate 80 between Omaha and Lincoln. The Ash Grove Cement Company is Louisville’s only industry. The downtown business area stretches all of two blocks, with the Cornhusker Country Music Theater (dances on Saturday nights) dominant on Main Street.

Some have said this town of 1,000 ...

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