Pastor, family arrested after refusing to leave foreclosed church

Sheriff’s deputies led a pastor out of his Richmond church in handcuffs Thursday afternoon after he refused to obey a court-ordered eviction notice.

Pastor Sidney Keys, his wife Patrice and his elderly mother all went to jail from the Bible Way Apostolic Church at 201 Macdonald Ave., where they stayed continuously since receiving a formal eviction notice Tuesday.

Two protesters also went to jail after sitting down in front of a sheriff’s car in the church parking lot, near the corner of Macdonald and Second Street.

“We just got our license for child care and a preschool,” said parishioner Gracie Ivy, part of a crowd of about 40 at the church gate. “It’s for the community. It’s for a need.”

Protesters shouted and chanted “Let them go!” as the deputies led off Keys and his family. His 11-year-old daughter watched from the sidewalk, tears in her eyes.

“We never wanted it to reach this point,” Contra Costa sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said. “But we have to enforce the court order.”

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