August 14, 2020

Small-town church challenges capacity limits imposed by Illinois’ stay-at-home order

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LENA, Ill. — A small church in a northwest Illinois town defied the governor’s order to limit services to 10 people or fewer Sunday.  

“God’s laws are above man’s laws, and I’m going to follow God’s law and I’d be willing to go to jail for it,” parishioner Bill Deets said.

Deets was just one of about 60 or 80 people who attended church Sunday morning at the Beloved Church in Lena, Illinois. 

That’s the same church that filed a federal lawsuit to fight the governor’s extension of the latest stay-at-home order.  

“You should have the freedom to decide how you minister to your folks,” Pastor Steven Castle said. 

Despite blowing way past the 10 person limit set by the governor, Pastor Castle says people were socially distancing and wearing masks.  

“We are doing it safe; no one in the community is going to get sick,” Castle said.

Doctors and the CDC would disagree, along with the governor.

“We are not stopping you from praying or connecting what we are doing is trying to stop this invisible killer,” Pritzker said.