NJ women defy two governors, drive to Kentucky for Easter service
Two women from New Jersey drove to Kentucky in order to attend a live Easter Sunday service — disregarding warnings from officials in multiple states about avoiding large gatherings.
Gatherings of any size are prohibited in New Jersey as part of Gov. Phil Murphy's executive orders on social gathering to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Kentucky is under state of emergency and has also prohibited religious gatherings.
In a statement, Gov. Andy Beshear said 99.8% of the state's houses of worship suspended their services. The Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville defied the governor and held an Easter Sunday service regardless.
WDRB TV reported that Kentucky State Police recorded the license plates of cars in the parking lot during its service, and left notes under on their windshields they would have to self quarantine for 14 days.
Pastor Jack Roberts preached to about 50 people, and recognized people who traveled a distance to attend the service, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
"A couple of ladies here that drove about 12 hours last night to be in church today. They are from South Burnswick , New Jersey (sic)" Roberts said to applause at the start of the service on Sunday, which was streamed live on Facebook.
Roberts said the women called looking for a place that was having a live service on Easter Sunday, and he told them, "we'll be open."
A copy of the Courier-Journal's article published on MyCentralJersey.com identified described Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes as from New Brunswick. They said they needed to be in a church, especially on Easter Sunday, according to the story.
"Our Lord and Savior is risen and we need to come together and feel the spirit of the Lord moving upon all of us," Beattly told the Courier Journal as Chavannes looked on without commenting.
Beatty said that she believed people had gone along with the restrictions put in place by states but drew a line at church service calling it an "essential right."
"That mandate, we're just not going to submit to," Beatty said.
"Individuals who attended these in-person services will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, in order to limit the impact of their actions on other people," Beshear said in his statement.
During his daily briefing, Beshear on Sunday was critical of Beatty and Chavannes for coming to Kentucky, noting that they came from a state with more than 3,000 positive cases. New Jersey has the second-most cases in the United States.
He said they showed that the women brought "all of New Jersey's contacts into Kentucky."
New Jersey had 2,350 positive cases as of Sunday afternoon, according to the NJ Department of Health.
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