Governor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, increased the gathering capacity limit of houses of worship by 40%.
During the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recognized spiritual burdens that the COVID-19 restrictions placed on places of worship but she reassured that restrictions were all a part of the effort to curtail the spread of the virus.
"How long is it going to be before we rise up and say 'OK, that's it'?" Pastor Steve Smotherman said during his Sunday service at Legacy Church.
Pastor Smotherman of Legacy Church disagreed with the Governor and claimed that the governor's mandate was an overreach of power.
"When we're here today, we're in violation of her mandate because in a moment we're going to sing, and I don't know if you know this but the mandate was do not sing in church. I'm serious, it was on her mandate--no singing. And I'm like, you're not going to tell me how to worship my God," Pastor Smotherman reminded his congregants.
In most other churches in New Mexico, many parishioners chose to worship from home. However, Legacy Church is persistent in trying to revoke the governor's COVID-19 ban.
Executive pastor of Legacy Church, Daniel McCabe expressed his belief in gathering amidst the ban a statement, "We don't believe the governor has any right to make a decision or restrict our First Amendment rights as Christians for those that want to gather together."
"We're still pushing forward. We've actually filed our appeal with the 10th District Court just to continue what we believe that we have a right to assemble and the governor cannot restrict that, so we're still moving forward with that lawsuit," McCabe said.
Legacy Church is continuously fighting in their legal battle with the state to gather to worship by challenging the COVID-19 ban.