WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Demonstrators wearing camouflage and ballistic vests stood watch over a growing crowd at a Worcester church as Pastor Kris Casey once again violated Gov. Charles D. Baker’s order against large gatherings.

Sunday marked the fourth time Casey openly admitted to exceeding the 10-person gathering limit during a service at Adams Square Baptist Church. In addition to the normal Sunday service, the pastor says he also performed a baptism.

“I can’t baptize someone on a Zoom meeting,” Casey declared. “It’s part of the church’s ordinances. It’s what God has called on me to do.”

This service came after more than 250 faith leaders from around the state signed a letter to the Baker-Polito administration, asking that churches be included as essential services. Baker has said that he would consider this.

“If we can go into grocery stores that are considered essential, why can’t we do the same precautions in a place like church,” parishioner Verna Khantzian argued.

Other people defended the state’s ban, including resident Scott Scaeffer-Duffy, who said, “It’s the same thing with theaters and sporting events. It’s not discriminatory at all and this decision to rush gatherings is going to cost lives.”

Only 7NEWS was there as Casey was handed a $300 fine last Monday. The City of Worcester has since filed a criminal complaint against him.

Casey is now eligible to serve prison time under Baker’s orders; however, he says this won’t stop him from holding services.

“Let’s call it what it really is. It’s a tyranny, so that’s why I’m standing up to fight the cause and say it’s not gonna happen on my watch,” Casey said.

The City of Worcester has not commented at this time.

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