Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez told KRIS 6 News he believes The Bridge Church in Robstown is in violation of Nueces Co. Judge Barbara Canales' stay-at-home order. The church's pastor, Pastor Joel Garza, held a public service on Sunday with more than 10 people inside the church.
Gonzalez said people who violate the judge's order will face consequences.
“We will be filing charges for anybody who violates these orders,” Gonzalez said. “It is in violation to have such gatherings, especially like the one that that has been described at The Bridge Church.”
Meanwhile, Garza believes he didn’t violate the order because Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order states churches are considered essential daily activity.
“Our position is not to kick against the authority,” Garza said. “It’s just there are times where you just can't go along with it.”
However Gonzalez told KRIS 6 News that local municipalities like the county can have extra safety precaution in place for the good of its citizens.
So if someone continues to not abide by the order, what happens? Gonzalez says they’ll be issued a citation of $500. If it continues, the person could be arrested.
“We are concerned that if we don't act, more people are going to be exposed and putting people at risk,” Gonzalez said. “That's the main thing that we don't want.”
For now, The Bridge Church still is holding its weekly bible class on Wednesday evening. Garza said his church will be following the county judge’s order, with fewer than 10 people inside the church at a time.
“I believe that God always wants everybody to come to him, but we're going to see how he needs us to be able to do it, and still respect what (authorities are) asking us to do,” said Garza.
KRIS 6 News reached out to Abbott’s office for a statement about the order, and are still waiting to hear back.