Grace Community Church Wins $800,000 in Major Religious Liberty Case


Grace Community Church has won a $800,000 lawsuit in attorney's fees. The congregation stood in for the church when it faced some restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

In 2020, the church and it's head pastor, John MacArthur had a disagreement with Los Angeles County and the state of California for restrictions on indoor services. The church defied the order of the state and this caused several legal actions as the county and the state were determined to enforce the restrictions on the church.

The church was threatened with fines amounting to thousands of dollars. Also, McArthur was threatened with possiblity of arrest. However, Grace Community Church won in court. This was partly because the U.S Supreme Court made a declaration last November which favoured churches in other jurisdictions.

The $800,000 fine which is part of the ''prevailing party'' attorney fees will be paid jointly by the state and the county. Each will pay $400,000 to the church. While preaching on Sunday, McArthur stated that the $800,000 will be given to the Thomas More Society, which represented the church.

While responding to the final verdict on the church, the Thomas More Society said it is a "big religious liberty win" for the church. The special counsel for the Thomas More Society, Charles LiMandri said,

"Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church refused to bow to government tyranny and they finally obtained the excellent result they deserved. Thanks to their courage and perseverance, justice prevailed, and the First Amendment was vindicated. No longer can the County of Los Angeles and the State of California treat people of faith like second-class citizens. This result is a victory for all Americans who cherish religious liberty."

Besides, Grace Community Church stated that it had a constitutional right to hold services indoors.

"We are very grateful for our Lord's protection and providence throughout this past year. Our commitment to the Word of God and his church has never wavered. We have simply continued to stand firm, as we always have and always will. 

"We put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church.  Over the past year, our congregation has seen his hand of blessing in ways like never before, and the Lord's promise has been realized: 'I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.'" MacArthur said.

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