CA Church Worships Despite Legal Threats

Aug 10, 2020

VENTURA, CA – After receiving an order from a Ventura state judge last Friday banning the church’s in-person services, Godspeak Calvary Chapel (Church) held three worship services yesterday. As many as 2500 people attended one of three services in-person, or in the parking lot, along with 26,000 online. Church members from another congregation drove two hours to stand outside in the parking lot during the services to voluntarily receive citations so others could worship inside. The only citation issued was to an Antifa protestor for disturbing the peace. 

Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco issued a temporary restraining order last Friday to Pastor Rob McCoy, the Church, and Does 1-1000, along with anyone “acting in concert with them” who might attend worship in the future. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered no singing or chanting, and then ordered no worship, even in private homes with anyone who does not live in the home. 

The state court order naming Does 1 – 1000, along with anyone “acting in concert,” is the first case in the nation to include any person who dares enter the church for religious services. 

During his sermon Pastor McCoy stated, “And the powers that were given this nation were the first three words of the preamble of that Constitution, 'We the People.' And you have freedom to worship your God. It's between you and Him and you're accountable to God. And no man is allowed to take that.” 

According to Pastor McCoy, as a result of the Sunday services, hundreds of people received salvation through Jesus Christ for the first time.

An evidentiary hearing is now set for Aug. 31. Liberty Counsel is not representing Godspeak Calvary Chapel but the Church has local legal representation. 

Gov. Newsom’s orders allow the church to feed, shelter, and provide social services, but the same people in the same building cannot worship. In order words, non-religious services are acceptable but religious services are banned. People can receive food, but not take communion. People can be housed overnight, but cannot hold a short worship service, Bible study, or meet for prayer. People can receive counseling to find work but cannot be counseled on finding eternal life. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The First Amendment draws a red line that the state may not cross. That red line has been crossed by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s no worship orders. Gov. Newsom has clearly favored some speech, like the current wave of protests, while disfavoring religious speech. This, he cannot do.” 

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