State of emergency issued in DeSoto County

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A state of emergency was issued Monday in DeSoto County because a hate group will hold its conference at a Mid-South hotel.

Now, dozens of Shelby County deputies are now headed there to help.

It comes as no surprise to one local church. Their congregation decided to move services from Whispering Woods in protest.

"Shocked and surprised about it being there and I really immediately thought that we didn't need to meet there at the church at the same time," pastor Bob Thomas said.

Thomas, the pastor of Church of the Harvest, said the European-American Unity and Rights Conference led by former KKK leader David Duke this weekend is something neither he nor his church wish to be a part of.

"I didn't want to be there and I know our people, and I know they wouldn't want to be there. Plus we wanted to make a stand," Bob Thomas said.

Rob Thomas, Associate Pastor of the Olive Branch church, said that while they have no ill feelings toward Whispering Woods, church members are very much against the beliefs of the white supremacy group and fully support the churches stand.
"The response has been really good. I've gotten a lot of responses. A lot of e-mails from folks who said they really feel we did the right thing," Rob Thomas said.

DeSoto county supervisors voted to issue a state of emergency Monday for the next week to be prepared for any problems that might occur.

For the Church of the Harvest, there are no hard feelings toward the Whispering Woods Hotel which has been the congregation's home the past three years.

Church leaders said they will meet at a nearby skating rink this Sunday, but will resume services at Whispering Woods the following week. They will be in their new church home in January.

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