One California pastor is calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to reopen his church for Easter Sunday, after receiving fines exceeding $100,000 for holding indoor services.
Dr. Jack Trieber, the senior pastor of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, has been holding outdoor services after the county government fined his church over $100,000 for holding indoor services last year, the Daily Wire reports.
Now, Trieber is calling on Gov. Newsom to allow the church, which seats 3,000 people, to reconvene indoors for Easter.
"Governor Newsom, I implore you to open up our churches Easter Sunday, April 4," Trieber said in a video on Sunday on the church’s YouTube channel.
Trieber, who has been leading the church since 1976, explained that churchgoers have been forced to listen to his sermons from their cars due to inclement weather.
"This is Sunday, early in the morning, and we’re freezing out here," the pastor said. "We’re cold. We’ve been obeying for 366 days, one year and one day. We’ve shut our church down. We’re meeting in the parking lot. We’re meeting in open-air meetings and we have tents everywhere," he said.
In the past week alone, Trieber noted that congregants had to deal with cold weather, rain and hail while meeting for outdoor services.
"Yet we have a 3,000-seat auditorium that sits empty," he continued.
Last Easter, Trieber preached to “an empty auditorium” indoors while the service was held over a live stream.
"In addition to Easter, we gave you Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We gave you July 4th. We gave you Labor Day. We gave you all the summer, we gave you all the spring, we gave you all of the fall," including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day in compliance to Newsom’s orders.
"Enough is enough, sir," Trieber argued, explaining that the church has had zero deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19, with less than 20 positive cases.
He added, “And the few that have gone in to be hospitalized were sent home and told to ‘take two Tylenol’."
To his surprise, Trieber said he could not believe that as a pastor, he was asking the government to open up the church.
"This is not a Communist country," he said.
He added that America has never shut down its churches in previous health crises and pandemics, such as the Spanish flu.
In closing, Trieber urged Newsom to reach out to him and discuss the matter in person.
"We've been doing this for a year sir, it's time", he concluded. "April the 4th, 2021, Easter Sunday for Christians, please."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chuang Tzu Dreaming
Video courtesy: North Valley Baptist Church
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.