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Bowie Pastor Defied Governor's Order, Held Service: Police

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A church in Prince George’s County announced it closed all its buildings after state police accused a pastor of defying Maryland's stay-home order with services held Sunday.

A video on Facebook showed churchgoers gathered at Evangel Cathedral Church for services led by Pastor Erik Meares Sunday. In the video people were spaced out in the pews, but the gathering was estimated to be around 40 to 49 people which exceeds Gov. Larry Hogan’s 10 person limit.

Meares anticipated trouble and said, “If they take me, I won’t resist,” adding that not allowing people to convene at the church was “unconstitutional.”

Later, Maryland state troopers arrived and confronted Meares about allegedly violating the order. Troopers informed them of Hogan’s order and that they were in violation of it, according to Maryland State Police. Meares called police, and the troopers left soon after.

Meares continued services, which included him laying hands on those who walked to the altar and even blowing on a few parishioners.

The lead pastor of the church posted on Facebook Wednesday that the church would remain closed until Hogan’s order is lifted.

No charges were filed nor were there any arrests made.

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Meares could not be reached for comment.

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