CLAIRTON, Pa. — Free after serving 112 days in jail for contempt of court for refusing to leave his pulpit, Lutheran pastor D. Douglas Roth led an outdoor service at the steps of his church in this steel mill town Sunday as deputies watched nearby.
About 75 members of the Trinity Lutheran Church, backed by the labor activist's union supporters, sang hymns, received communion and heard Roth condemn his bishop and Pittsburgh-based corporations during a 46-minute service on the church's lawn.
"It's good to be back. Let us worship then," Roth said, wearing purple and white vestments and carrying a Bible as he prepared a card table as an outdoor altar.
Deputies Occupy Church
Behind Roth, four uniformed Allegheny County sheriff's deputies occupied his small, stone church within sight of Monongahela River steel mills. A sign on the church doors read: "No Trespassing by Order of Court."