Protesters at County Courthouse say churches should be open

While most people are under orders to shelter at home where possible, Drs. Allen and Karen Ranney are out at the Creek County Courthouse protesting what they believe is an unfair ruling against churches in the area.

Drs. Allen Ranney (left) and Karen Ranney (right) at Creek County Courthouse

“Why is it that liquor stores are open, and the medical marijuana places are open, but the churches can’t be open?” Dr. Allen Ranney told Sapulpa Times on Thursday afternoon. “I don’t believe it’s constitutional.”

Sapulpa is under a Shelter In Place order as of early April, which stipulates that faith-based meetings are still allowed as long as “conducted in an open space in compliance with all city codes and provide that all participants remain enclosed in their motor vehicle during such service and the vehicles maintain distancing of at least 6 feet from other motor vehicles.”

The Ranneys are protesting the closure of churches over liquor stores and Big Box stores.

Allen Rainey also brought up that pastors were getting arrested for defying various stay-at-home orders, an event that has happened most notably in Florida and also in Louisiana: “They’re letting inmates out of prison because of this, but they’re arresting our pastors?”

Governor Stitt has said that they’ll be releasing about 450 prisoners total, to “help the prisons with social distancing,” and the Department of Corrections stated that 111 inmates would be released Thursday.

The Ranneys believe that the order for everyone to stay home and out of church is a breach of their constitutional rights. “A ‘quarantine’ is when you put sick people at home. But when the majority of the population is well but being forced to stay home? That’s tyranny,” Dr. Allen Ranney said.

Dr. Allen Ranney says that he understands the idea behind leaving the liquor stores open to help those with alcoholism issues, but doesn’t believe it’s more important than the church. “I came from the secular lifestyle, out of drugs and alcohol for over thirty years. But not once while I was doing all that, did I try to keep someone from attending church,” he said.

The Ranneys stand next to their truck outside the Creek County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Karen Ranney spoke up then: “I’m addicted to Jesus, probably even more than those people who are addicted to alcohol,” she said. “I need my church!” she said, laughing.

While the Ranneys were at the time the only ones present at the Courthouse, it doesn’t appear that they were alone in their opinion. Several vehicles driving by honked to show their support. One slowed, rolled down their window and shouted, “Amen!” as they passed.

In the end, the Ranneys say they’re not necessarily looking to see a dramatic shift in the way things are now. “We just want to voice our opinion,” Allen Ranney said.

Drs. Allen and Karen Ranney have doctorates in “Messianic Education” and run Jew and Gentile Ministries. Find out more about them and their ministry at jewandgentileministries.org

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Micah Choquette

Micah Choquette

Micah is the Owner and Publisher of Sapulpa Times.