Canadian Pastor, Tim Stephens Arrested for Breaching COVID-19 Rules


Senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta, Tim Stephens has been arrested for holding a church service which breaches the COVID-19 health rules. Christian Headlines reports that this makes him the second preacher this month and the third this year to be arrested for the same offense. 

Stephens hugged his wife and children before he was arrested on Sunday, May 16 for violating the 15 persons limit for every church service. Earlier this month, Stephens admitted that COVID-19 is ‘’serious’’ but the cure should not be worse than the disease. More so, he linked it to challenges of mental health and suicide. 

Furthermore, the preacher affirmed that his church - Fairview Baptist Church – had not had any transmission of the virus. Consequently, he said that the limit of 15 members per service makes holding services almost impossible. Likewise, it negates the will of Christ and does not support the conscience of many people who want to worship the Lord of glory according to His word.
              (Tim Stephens hugging his children)

Adam Soos of Rebel News has responded to the news of Stephens’ arrest. In his words, the preacher is not like pastor Artur Pawlowski, who was arrested last week. Soos stated in a video on Sunday that Stephens is a "quiet, reserved man who is simply leading his congregation in worship. He didn't make this a large political deal." 

Fairview Baptist Church is an affiliation of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. In an email to Calgary police, CBC said;

"The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today's service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees."

In addition, Stephens' wife, Raquel, made a tweet responding to her husband’s arrest on Sunday. She said that she was still in shock.

"He is calm as ever, rejoicing that he was counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. He was able to share the gospel with the officers that drove him away! He asked specifically that you pray for his freedom, and the freedom of the church," she wrote.

Consequently, Raquel Stephens released a letter her husband wrote to the children. This is an excerpt: "I have been arrested because I am convinced by the word of God, reason, and science, that we must gather as a church and live our lives with freedom in Christ."

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