Church operating out of Newark, Delaware home under legal review

NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) -- A Delaware state lawmaker is raising objections to a church that's functioning out of a private home.

It's not just a home in Newark, but also the location of Christian-based Ignition Church.

On Tuesday night, they were having one of their two services a week.

But according to State Rep. Eric Morrison of the 27th District, it's a big problem.

"The point of this is that it's being done against county code, but more importantly, it's the public health," said Morrison.

Morrison says after neighbor complaints, he even attended a service and took pictures inside.

"People were packed into the home like sardines, in folding chairs side by side. All ages," said Morrison.

He says this isn't about ending their right to worship.

"To me this is very unfair to churches that are doing the right thing," said Morrison.

However, on Tuesday night, Action News spoke with Pastor Greg Tweddell.

He released this statement saying, "The odd thing about him coming and visiting was that he took off his mask once seated, even though that is what he is complaining about. He also said that we were in there 'like sardines,' and that is completely false. We tend to have 35 or so people in an open layout of over 2,000 square feet. We take a number of precautions. We surface disinfect everything both before and after every service."

A New Castle County spokesman says Ignition Church has been warned and they're under legal review.

But one legal expert says there's likely nothing government or Representative Morrison can do about it.

Tom Neuberger, of Neuberger Law, said, "It's not 'churches or a brick building,' it's 'houses of worship.' He needs to learn a little bit about the constitution or laws here."

Neuberger is the Wilmington based attorney behind the recent lawsuit against Delaware Governor John Carney's COVID restrictions placed on churches.

They settled and most restrictions were lifted.

"I was contacted today by lawyers from this church and they're gearing up if the county makes the mistake of going after this small home church," said Neuberger.

Morrison says he was contacted by several neighbors displeased with the church being there.

Action News spoke with a next door neighbor who says it's a little odd to have it there, yet the church has been no problem.
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