UPDATE: A judge ruled late Friday afternoon that Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, can continue hosting indoor worship services and does not have to adhere to any attendance caps or bans on singing.
California megachurch Pastor John MacArthur filed a lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials over ongoing restrictions for churches amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the filing, submitted Thursday by attorneys Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley has sought “to prohibit California from enforcing its unconstitutional and onerous coronavirus pandemic regulations” against the congregation.
MacArthur said in a response to the court’s ruling, “I am very grateful the court has allowed us to meet inside and we are happy for a few weeks to comply and respect what the judge has asked of us because he is allowing us to meet. This vindicates our desire to stay open and serve our people. This also gives us an opportunity to show that we are not trying to be rebellious or unreasonable, but that we will stand firm to protect our church against unreasonable, unconstitutional restrictions.”
In addition to suing Newsom, Grace Community Church has named Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D).
As legal proceedings get underway, MacArthur has pledged to keep the doors of his church open to serve Angelenos eager to return for Sunday morning services.
“We are simply continuing to do today what we have done for the past 63 years, that Grace Community Church has been open to welcome the Los Angeles community and serve their spiritual needs,” the pastor said. “We will remain open and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who decide they want to come worship with us.”