Pastor Apostle Johnnie Clark. (Facebook photo)

A pastor in South Carolina was sentenced to a short jail stint after authorities said his congregation’s boisterous worship violated local noise ordinances.

Pastor Apostle Johnnie Clark, who leads the Rehoboth United Assemblies Church in Columbia, S.C., was found guilty Sept. 11 of exceeding the city’s noise limit and of unlawful sound amplification, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Pastor Apostle Johnnie Clark. (Columbia, S.C. Police Dept.)

This noise is a result of the church’s congregation singing, shouting, dancing, and instruments.  Nearby residents have complained and called the police over 50 times with complaints, according to Columbia CBS affiliate WLTX.

The exact amount of time Clark will serve is unclear; according to The (Charleston, S.C.) State, he was sentenced to just a single day, while WLTX placed the sentence at two weeks. Clark will also have to pay a fine.

Although the church has been around for 25 years, new neighbors have moved in while old ones have moved out or moved on. According to WLTX, neighbors have said that the church’s musical sound amplification can he heard, both in the morning and at night, and causes walls of nearby homes to vibrate.

“Everyone is just praying that this will be settled, but the only way I know is to go through a lot of expenses to soundproof the church,” Clark told the television station.


Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer