L. a. County might quickly settle a lawsuit in the direction of an evangelical church that defied a public well being order barring indoor worship By way of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Final August, the county sued Grace Group Church in Photo voltaic Valley for holding in-particular person, indoor providers that drew hundreds of unmasked congregants.
The church then countersued state, county and L.A. metropolis leaders, alleging violations of constitutional rights collectively with freedom of speech and religion.
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors wunwell vote on a settlement settlement Which might pay the church $400,000 for authorized costs, with The money coming from the county Division of Public Health’s price range.
Beneath the settlement, the state of California would additionally pay $400,000.
County officers declined to remark till the supervisors vote. If accredited, the settlement resolves all authorized actions between the county and the church.
An lawyer for the church declined to remark as a Outcome of the settlement has not but been accredited.
Initially of the pandemic, Grace church’s pastor, the Rev. John MacArthur, was supportive of following coronavirus mandates, since he has preached for years about obeying authorities officers.
He informed his followers that the church’s livestream was An alternative To Obtain non-believers in completely different nations.
Final summer time, he modified his message, saying there was no pandemic and The general public well being statistics have been incorrect, Whilst church members have been falling unwell and dying. It was all a authorities ploy To regulate Christians, he said.
The church has seen a quantity of coronavirus outbreaks, collectively with In a single grownup fellowship group that met in particular person.
However that hasn’t stopped MacArthur from persevering with to wrestle COVID-19 protocols. He currently started offering a type letter for members To say A spiritual exemption if their employer requires COVID-19 vaccination.
In a current letter to supporters of the John MacArthur Charitable Notion, which funds numerous Grace ministries, the pastor said the county had decided to drop all costs and pay the church’s authorized costs.
He referred to as this a “monumental victory for Grace Group Church.”
“All of us know That there is not a circumstance Which will set off the church To close,” he wrote Inside the letter. “The church Isn’t solely a constructing but is the bride of Christ and exists to proclaim The fact.”