Wednesday, June 24 was when the coronavirus dam started to crack at Calvary Chapel of San Antonio. Pastor Ron Arbaugh recalls the notifications his members were starting to test positive.
“I went out and did the midweek service that Wednesday night,” He said. ” I just received five emails or calls from people who had tested positive.”
The 69-year-old pastor said before he could make it into the pulpit, notice came that two more members at the Universal City church were also COVID-19 positive.
He made the decision to shut the doors of the church. The number of positive cases surged.
“It’s in excess of 50,” Arbaugh said. “Most of those people have now been safely through the quarantine period.”
Arbaugh and his wife Paula were among those who tested positive. Their symptoms, he said, were minor to nearly asymptomatic.
But the rising number of positive cases from his 1200-1500 membership who worship in a storefront church left many pointing fingers at Arbaugh.
In fact, he’s been accused of putting normalcy ahead of his flock. An assertion the pastor denies.
The church leader said no one in his congregation tested positive for COVID-19 during the government enforced shutdown for nearly nine weeks to fend off the virus.
When they returned he said attendance was at 40 percent. It grew to 80 percent. As the return continued Arbaugh believes the need for normalcy set in. So, he permitted church members to hug and shake hands.
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SOURCE: KENS5, Marvin Hurst