Amid the constant back-and-forth, county officials in Los Angeles have seemingly retaliated against Pastor John MacArthur by terminating a decades-old lease held by Grace Community Church.
Since 1975, Grace Community Church has leased a large portion of its parking lot from the county. However, without offering any specific reasons, officials with the county’s Public Works Department decided to evict the church, Patch reported.
“If Grace fails to vacate the premises as required, the district may enter the premises and remove Grace’s personal property in accordance with the agreement and applicable law, and Grace will be responsible for any resultant expenses incurred by the district,” read a notice from the county.
Jenna Ellis, an attorney representing Grace Community Church, argued Los Angeles officials are “retaliating” against MacArthur and his congregation due to his decision to continue holding in-person worship services on Sunday morning despite orders to the contrary from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
“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” she said. “The Democrats’ 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,” added Ellis.
MacArthur has continued to draw the ire of progressive California lawmakers as he has held indoor worship services amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In mid-August, a judge ruled in MacArthur’s favor, saying church gatherings are an essential service. The preacher is allowed to continue hosting in-person worship services until a full hearing is held Sept. 4.
Earlier in the month, MacArthur appeared on CNN, where he told host Brianna Keilar he believes the California government is “targeting” the church and using the coronavirus as a excuse for unconstitutional power grabs.
He told the anchor Grace Community Church attendees “know life is being restricted in a way that is not constitutional, that is burdensome, that is targeting the church, and that makes no sense in light of the actual number of deaths that they’re seeing.”