In its latest retaliatory move against Grace Community Church, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works has terminated its 45-year-old parking lot lease with the church.
As we’ve recently reported, the Sun Valley megachurch has been subject to several threats from local officials for continuing to hold indoor worship services in defiance of ongoing coronavirus-related orders.
Now, according to a press release from the Thomas More Society, the church helmed by pastor John MacArthur has received a 30-day notice that the County will end a lease agreement for a large portion of the parking lot of the church that has been in place continuously since 1975.
“Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order,” said Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel to Thomas More Society.
“In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal,” Ellis went on. “The message to Americans is clear–if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you. The Church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.”
Just last week, the Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled in favor of the church that there is no court order prohibiting the church from holding indoor worship services.
“LA County continues to harass and target Pastor MacArthur,” Ellis said at the time. “Having failed to get a court order to shut down the church they have sought three times, they’re going to try again by hauling us back into court.”
“Ironically, LA County said in its application for contempt that, ‘Grace Church cannot thumb its nose at the court when decisions don’t go its way,’ yet that’s precisely what LA County is now doing themselves,” Ellis concluded. “We will simply continue to defend our client’s constitutionally protected rights because church is essential.”
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