Pastor Denied Request to Use Rehoboth Bandstand - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Pastor Denied Request to Use Rehoboth Bandstand

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- A local pastor is organizing a rally on the morning of Independence Day after the city of Rehoboth Beach denied a request to use the popular bandstand for church services.

Robert Dekker, a pastor at the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, says Rehoboth City Manager Greg Ferrese refused to allow the services at the bandstand citing a separation of church and state.

Dekker says his church grows vastly in numbers in the summer season and wanted to bring Sunday morning sermons to an outdoor venue.

"It would be half-singing, half-message," said Dekker. "We wanted to provide it for visitors, for those who don't want to go inside a church, it's so beautiful out here [in Rehoboth.]"

Dekker is inviting the public to attend a rally, which according to e-mails sent to WBOC News, was approved by Ferrese on Tuesday. Dekker insists it's not a protest, but a freedom rally, being held on the beach at the end of Rehoboth Avenue on Thursday morning at 9:30am.

WBOC News made several attempts to reach Ferrese, both by visiting and calling his office, but received no response.

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