What - and who - is Lordship Church?

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COEUR d'ALENE - Lordship Church of Coeur d'Alene held its first service Oct. 5 and is led by pastor Warren Luke Campbell and his father.

Campbell told The Press on Friday that he held three Sunday services before returning to his home state of California to prepare his family for a permanent move to Coeur d'Alene.

Prior to the move, Campbell said, he spent five years preaching at a church he founded in Ridgecrest, Calif. He added that he and his father, Warren Mark Campbell, had wanted to move from California for years and the question was always where to relocate.

"So pastor (Chuck) Baldwin was kind of someone we knew, an acquaintance more or less, and we asked him if he had any recommendations," Campbell said. "Pastor Baldwin said, 'Hey, try Coeur d'Alene. There's good people there and they're of like mind.' So we took that seriously."

Campbell said Lordship Church is "more or less" involved with Baldwin's Liberty Church project. The project seeks to, according to the group's website, "resurrect the patriot-pulpit" in America by "helping ordained ministers and lay leaders establish churches and Christian fellowships that are unencumbered with IRS 501(c)(3) and state incorporation status."

"We were simply friends with pastor Baldwin already so we didn't fill out the application or anything," Campbell said of his church's founding. "But certainly we fall under the auspices of pastor Baldwin's recommendation. We're on his website and we're grateful for everything he has done for us."

One of the "distinctives" of Lordship Church, Campbell said, is its lack of IRS 501(c)(3) status, a federal tax exemption held by the churches and other nonprofit organizations throughout the nation.

"We say there can be no law over the church other than the law of God, which namely is the Bible. It's completely voluntary for an organization to become incorporated, but there are significant benefits that come with that incorporation. They choose it willingly for the financial benefit that a not-for-profit status gives you," Campbell said. "We say you're selling the church to the state for that dollar value. We cannot have state rules and regulations telling the church or the pastors themselves what to do."

When Campbell was asked if being able to speak about politics from the pulpit played a factor in the decision to not pursue a nonprofit classification, he said his dad is the one who tends to preach more about politics.

"But if ever I need to, I certainly feel very comfortable and there's nothing to stop me," Campbell said. "If I need to deal with an issue, whether it be immigration or the homosexual issue, I can certainly deal with it from the pulpit and have no problem doing it."

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