“This ruling prevents Los Angeles County’s attempted rush to judgment in its continued prosecution of Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church for courageously exercising their First Amendment rights,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Charles LiMandri.
Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church avoided being held in contempt of court Thursday when a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge ruled he was entitled to a full trial on the contempt issue—something unlikely to happen until 2021. And Dr. John MacArthur pledged Grace Community Church would continue to meet.
“We are holding church,” Pastor John MacArthur said. “The Lord Jesus requires us to meet together and we will continue to do that because we are commanded to and because it is our right.”
Lawyers for Los Angeles County wanted the pastor and church held in contempt of court for conducting indoor worship services despite a COVID-19 Pandemic limits on worship services. A hearing was held last week on the contempt issue and LA Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff issued the ruling today.
“I’m very grateful to Judge Beckloff for providing full due process and recognizing the importance of these constitutional protections,” MacArthur said. “The reality is that the county cannot show that their order is even rational, much less necessary. They have also applied their orders arbitrarily and discriminatorily against churches and we enjoy a heightened protection in America to hold church. I’ll continue to stand firm and we will continue to fight to protect religious freedom for the church.”