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Police Take Out Criminal Complaint Against Worcester Pastor for $500 Fine

May 7, 2020

Worcester police have applied for a criminal complaint for a $500 fine against the pastor who held a third church service above the limit set by the governor.

Pastor Kris Casey led a service for about 40 people at Adams Square Baptist Church in Worcester on Wednesday, May 6 — the third time he has conducted a service for more than 10 people, which is the limit set by a March 23 executive order from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Casey was served with a citation for a $300 civil penalty by the Worcester police chief on Monday, May 4 for holding a church service for more than 40 people the day before, on Sunday, May 3. He also held a similar service on Sunday, April 26.

Wednesday night’s service was the third offense. The governor’s executive order provides for a warning for the first offense, a $300 civil penalty for the second offense, and for subsequent offenses a $500 fine and possible imprisonment.

Worcester’s city manager, Edward M. Augustus Jr., announced the criminal complaint during a coronavirus press conference on Thursday, May 7. Below is a transcript of what he said:


The Adams Square Baptist Church.

So the Worcester Police Department today has filed a criminal complaint through the Worcester District Court for $500 fine to be assessed to the Adams Square Baptist Church, as a result of their third violation of the governor’s order, which prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people. That took place – that gathering, third gathering – took place last night. They had more than 20 people, at the church, in defiance of the governor’s order.

And so we continue to monitor the situation and we’re following the measures that are outlined in the governor’s order, as to actions that could be taken for each successive violation.

So we are following that scrupulously, and that action was taken today in response to the violation last night.


The church has taken extensive precautions for recent services, including disinfection by a professional cleaning service and requiring social distancing. This past Sunday the church also required everyone to wear masks and gloves inside.

State and local officials say they need to severely limit church services and other gatherings in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The pastor says his congregants need church, and that the precautions he is taking make his church safer than grocery stores, big-box stores, and liquor stores, which the governor has allowed to remain open.

Casey has said he plans to hold another church service for more than 10 people on Sunday, May 10. If so, city officials may take it as a fourth offense.

Concerning the city manager’s statement Thursday afternoon, Casey declined comment.

A video of the press conference of Thursday, May 7 is below. The Worcester city manager’s comments about the church begin at -21:32, which is about 11 minutes into the video.


COVID-19 Press Briefing 5/7/2020

COVID-19 Press Briefing 5/7/2020

Posted by Worcester Massachusetts on Thursday, May 7, 2020

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