Charges Against FL Pastor Dropped

May 15, 2020

TAMPA, FL – Today, the criminal misdemeanor charges against Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor of The River at Tampa Bay Church, were dropped. The Notice of Termination states, in part: “Having reviewed the charge(s) contained in the Criminal Report Affidavit and/or Notice to Appear, the State Attorney’s Office informs you that the charge(s) contained therein is/are dismissed and prosecution is terminated as of this date and that the defendant need not appear for any further proceedings in this matter.” 

Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne was wrongfully arrested at his home on March 30 for holding a church service on Sunday, March 29. The church is in Hillsborough County, Florida.  

Pastor Howard-Browne and his wife founded the church in 1996. He also heads Revival Ministries International. He was born in South Africa and has resided in Tampa, Florida since the mid-1990s.

Liberty Counsel represents Pastor Howard-Browne. The Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister previously held a press conference announcing the arrest with the State Attorney, Andrew Warren, present. After the arrest, the State Attorney referred to this unlawful arrest in his campaign for reelection. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The arrest of Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne was politically motivated. Neither the pastor nor The River at Tampa Bay Church did anything wrong. The arrest and the press conference were outrageous and caught the attention of the nation and the world. As a result of this arrest, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared attendance at churches, synagogues, and houses of worship to be an essential activity. This arrest freed up every church in Florida to meet. We are pleased that all the charges have been dropped. It is now time to move forward with healing and restoration.” 

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