Worcester Pastor Holds Sunday Service Despite Ban Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Despite Gov. Charlie Baker's ban on gatherings of 10 or more people, a Worcester pastor held a Sunday service, saying it was his right to do so.

Adams Square Baptist Church Pastor Kristopher Casey announced on Facebook that the church would be holding a service on Sunday, April 26. The Telegram & Gazette reports that 56 worshippers attended the service.

Casey also sent a letter detailing his intentions to Gov. Baker, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, and the Worcester Chief of Police. In it, he argued that churches should be considered essential during this pandemic, writing "it would seem that religious services are the only essential function whose core activity — association for the purpose of worship — has been basically eliminated."

"Such a shut-down of religious services violates clear Constitutional rights under the 1st and 14th amendments," Casey wrote.

According to the Telegram & Gazette, the only response to the letter he got was from Mayor Petty's office. In it, the mayor said he was declining the invitation to attend. Casey said his letter didn't include an invitation.

Previously, Casey had been holding drive-in church services were worshippers could listen from their cars.

Casey plans to hold another service at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

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