Pastor Defies Judge's Orders, Continues to Hold Church Services Indoors

August 9, 2020

A Newbury Park pastor in Ventura County, California announced his church is going to continue its services indoors in defiance of a judge ruling a temporary emergency restraining order that says the church has to hold services outdoors.

A judge on Friday issued the temporary restraining order that the church would have to hold services outdoors with masks and physical distancing, according to the LA Times story.

According to a Los Angeles Times story on Friday, "Since May 31, the Newbury Park church has held large, indoor services without masks or social distancing every Sunday. Ventura County health authorities sued Godspeak and McCoy on Wednesday."

The same day, on Friday Aug. 7, Pastor Rob McCoy addressed the ruling on YouTube saying the judge heard the case in which Ventura County is suing Godspeak Calvary Chapel.

The Ventura County Star on Friday reported that "the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Matthew P. Guasco prohibits Godspeak and McCoy from offering indoor services at the church in Newbury Park or any other indoor venue in the county until Aug. 31."

"A judge awarded the county this emergency temporary restraining order that prohibits us from meeting in the church, if we do, we are fined. Even though we stated to the judge for us to meet in a park would be impossible. 1,500 people, what park? " McCoy says on YouTube.

"We haven't had one case of COVID-19 in our church. We have been open since May 31," McCoy said on the video on Aug. 7. "As a church, we have been ordered by the judge to remain closed. This building by judge's orders is not be occupied by Rob McCoy.... And I wish it didn't have to come to this. I really do. But we will be violating the judge's order. We will be open this Sunday...We are planning on having services at 9, 11 and 1." 

McCoy said on the Friday video the first 1,000 get a citation, "a misdemeanor." 

"It will be on your record, be mindful of that. And if we continue doing that, there is likely jail. I don't want it to go to that," McCoy says in the video.

McCoy says the church has been getting phone calls from the White House.

"This is going national, we are getting calls from all over the place, how serious this is," McCoy said. "We just want to go to church."

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