Updated: May 11, 2020 05:26 PM
Created: May 11, 2020 04:15 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico State Police served the Pastor of New Hope Revival Church in Sierra County with a cease and desist notice on Mother's Day.
Pastor Caleb Cooper was served at his house-- after he had held in-person service, a violation of the governor's public health order.
"If they can't find you at the place where you were at, they will hunt you down at your residence," Cooper said.
Cooper said he preached to about 30 people this week.
"We have a U.S. constitutional right that should not be infringed upon by a governor's order," he said.
Pastor Cooper is one of the people the Sierra County Sheriff deputized during a service.
Sheriff Glenn Hamilton claims that the people he deputized are inactive and hold no powers or responsibilities. He added that he hopes they won't need to be activated.
"We have done our job down here," Sheriff Hamilton said. "It's time to lower some of these restrictions. Let us get back to some kind of normality."
The sheriff and pastor are asking the governor loosen the restrictions in her public health order. And despite a cease and desist order, Cooper said he has not plans to stop holding services.
"At this point, in-light of a cease and desist, as the church has been deemed non-essential, though we know it's very essential - we have plans to worship Jesus Christ on Sunday morning right here at New Hope Revival Church," he said.
New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Mark Soriano provided the following statement about why the pastor was served with a cease and desist order:
On April 29th, 2020 New Mexico State Police District leadership in Truth or Consequences met with the pastor of New Hope Revival. The purpose of the meeting was to educate the pastor on the Public Health Order, as it pertains to places of worship. We explained while places of worship can hold online and drive-in services, the Public Health Order does not of allow in-person services. We have attempted to work with the pastor to become compliant with the public health order.
On Sunday, May 10, 2020 New Mexico State Police issued a cease and desist to New Hope Revival Church in Truth or Consequences, after they continued to be non-compliant.
The New Mexico State Police continue our commitment to ensuring the health, welfare and safety of the citizens we serve.
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