'It's time to stand up!': Fresno County pastor to lead protest against Gov. Newsom's order to close indoor services again

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Fresno County pastor to lead protest against Gov. Newsom's order to close indoor services again
EMBED <>More Videos

With Gov. Newsom's latest order rolling back the reopening of California's businesses, local gyms and churches are feeling the pressure once again.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Like many fitness centers across the Central Valley, Rhonda's Personal Training in northeast Fresno is sitting empty and quiet again.

It wasn't too long ago that owner Rhonda Murphy started letting people back in, but after Governor Newsom's order to reclose gyms, she's not sure when she'll be able to serve them here.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom orders hair salons, gyms, churches, other businesses to close indoor operations in most Central CA counties

"I've had injuries, but this is harder than anything I have ever done," Murphy says.

Murphy's gym is her livelihood.

She'd already implemented various measures across her health club to keep her customers protected.

She says their safety trumps her desire to stay open.

"We have got to take action as a community and really step up and do everything we can to slow this pandemic down."

Places of worship were also included on Newsom's list of closures, but are allowed to conduct outdoor services.

Cornerstone Church pastor Jim Franklin says he understands the reasoning behind the order, but says it's infringing on his constitutional right to worship.

He adds it's too hot outside to conduct service.

"To move services outdoors in 100-plus degree weather, you are putting restrictions on churches that should not be placed upon them," he says.

In Sanger, Don Komush, lead pastor at Upper Room Church, says the decision makes his church feel unwelcome in California.

"It is biblical that we come together and worship and to take that from us is even worse than taking food from our mouth," he says.

Komush is now preparing to host a demonstration in the coming days to protest the order.

"Right now there are too many pastors who have laid down and it is time to stand up," he says.

On Monday, Fresno County Health officials stated they have not had any outbreaks stemming from places of worship.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus