Kentucky pastor plans to hold Easter service despite virus orders

National News

(WDRB/CNN)—A Kentucky pastor who defied Gov. Andy Beshear’s orders, which forbid large gatherings, says he vows to do the same on Easter.

He also called the governor “stupid.”

“It’s my life, and I feel like the Gospel is more important than anything else,” Pastor Jack Roberts told WDRB. “I know everybody thinks I’m crazing. Maybe I am.”

Roberts’ church, Maryville Baptist in Hillsview, Kentucky, has come under fire in recent days for keeping its doors open to worshippers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Beshear has called out Roberts and his church, which is preparing for more in-person gatherings on Easter Sunday.

“We know that it’s a scientific fact that him holding this service today will spread the virus within his congregation, and at Christmas, he’s going to have fewer people in his congregation,” Beshear said.

“I might not ought to say it this way — whatever you put on the air is what I’m saying, all right — but our stupid governor says you can’t get together with your family for Easter. What are they going to do stand at my front door and see how many people goes in?” said Roberts.

The Bullit County Health Department served Roberts with an enforcement notice on Tuesday, which cites the governor’s executive orders and orders the church to cease gatherings immediately.

“Only thing I can tell you is I have two national Constitutional attorneys,” Roberts said.

As he pushes ahead with in-person gatherings, Roberts is reminding people that his church is regularly sanitized. He says worshippers will be spaced appropriately and older or immunocompromised members are being asked to stay home and watch the Facebook live stream.

“If one of your members does come down with COVID-19, will you take responsibility for that?” a reporter asked.

“I can’t take responsibility for Walmart, Lowes, the liquor stores. I mean, I’m not trying to get anybody sick, but I wouldn’t think that they got it here,” Roberts said.

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