(DigitalJournal) Health officials in St. Louis have ordered a street church to stop serving hot meals to the city’s homeless residents, stoking widespread public outrage.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a front-page feature last Sunday about Churches on the Streets ministry, its leader, Edward “Pastor Paul” Gonnella, and the group’s work serving and ‘saving’ St. Louis’ needy. The community-based network of Christians has been “sharing the love of Jesus”– and sharing hot meals– with the city’s homeless denizens for over a year.

Churches on the Streets has no permanent home, hence its name. ThinkProgress reported that dozens of the more than 1,300 homeless residents of St. Louis gather at the Cotton Belt Rail Depot on Mondays to share home-cooked meals and listen to “Pastor Paul’s” sermons.

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