FRESNO, Calif. — Many California Southern Baptist pastors will likely find ways to continue to worship while obeying Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 13 order forbidding indoor worship once again.
“I think our churches are committed to doing what needs to be done to keep in contact with their members,” said Terry Barone, communications team leader for the California Southern Baptist Convention. “We would have to say that we’re not happy about the decision.”
Rolland Slade, chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, considers the order governmental overreach, but a greater concern for him is Newsom’s lack of a relationship with the faith community.
“The majority of pastors that I know, that I talk to, we understand the health order and we’re doing everything we possibly can to ensure the health of the people that we’ve been given to shepherd,” said Slade, pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon.
Slade, as well as pastors Barone spoke with, will comply with the order, which also applies to a range of other businesses. But Pastor Micaiah Irmler, one of two San Jose pastors jointly suing the Santa Clara County for limiting churches during the pandemic, said he plans to defy the latest order.