The property management company and owner of the building in which Verity Baptist Church and its Pastor Roger Jimenez preside have decided not to renew the church’s lease, and have asked church officials to consider moving.
While Harsch Investment Properties, owner of the Northgate Business Park where the church is located, cannot legally evict the church under the terms of the lease, representatives of the property management company say they cannot tolerate “tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives.”
“We have many places of worship and other religious organizations in the properties we manage,” company officials stated in a press release. “Like all our tenants, their occupancy rights are protected in their leases.”
Officials said they have communicated their views to church officials, and while their lease does not expire until March 31, 2017, the property managers have asked them to consider moving out of the business park.
Managers noted should church officials decide to move out, their lease would be canceled without any penalty.
“Just as we respect the right of individuals to speak their views, as distasteful as they may be, we also respect the right of others to protest as a reflection of their values,” the release states.
Property managers also ask that any protest be peaceful, have proper permits and respectful of the rights of the park’s other tenants.
“For decades, the owners and staff at Harsch Investment Properties have supported the LGBT community and many other organizations whose missions are to further respect, dignity and the ability for all individuals to live their lives as they wish,” managers wrote.
Jimenez of Verity Baptist said that his churchgoers should not feel sad for the 49 victims of the June 5 Orlando shooting.
"Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?" asked Jimenez. "I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job.”
ABC10 News spoke with Jimenez at his Sacramento home on June 14. He said he did not have any regrets about the sentiments expressed in his June 12 sermon.