Downtown Fresno church making preparations to reopen its doors

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cornerstone Church Senior Pastor Jim Franklin announced he will welcome his congregation back to his downtown Fresno church on Sunday, May 31.

"These doors, the doors of our churches across our city and across the state, should be, need to be and must be opened," he said.

It is the same day the city's call to shelter in place is scheduled to end though it could be extended again by Mayor Lee Brand.

Franklin says the church would follow CDC guidelines.

"We'll have strict social distancing, whereas everybody, every family unit, will be six feet apart," he said. "There will be no congregating. We'll have hand sanitizers, masks, gloves will be available. We'll sanitize the high-frequented areas."

Cornerstone Church has been going into under-served neighborhoods to help feed the needy. Members recently handed out food in Orange Cove.

Families don't know what tomorrow holds, but Franklin says churches are just as essential as retail stores.

"We don't want to be treated differently," Franklin said. "We want to be treated equally."

Franklin adds that Cornerstone is part of a group of churches statewide sending a letter to Governor Newsom asking he acknowledge churches as essential businesses.
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