By Laura Schoenfelder | worshipideas
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors reached an agreement to pay a $400,000 settlement to Grace Community Church in Sun Valley over Covid-19 health order. The church stayed open throughout the pandemic, despite the order for churches in multiple California counties to stop holding services in July of 2020.
After receiving multiple citations from the Los Angeles County for holding indoor services, the church, led by Pastor John MacArthur, was sued in August of 2020 for violating the health order. However, the church counter-sued for violation of “free exercise of religion by criminalizing activity directly required by our faith”, John MacArthur said in his statement.
Although the county argued that the health order did not specifically target religious gatherings, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that some health orders could not apply to houses of worship. This finally pushed the county’s counsel to make the settlement. MacArthur believes that the county wanted to settle this because they did not want a trial.
The settlement will come from the county Health Department budget and an additional $400,000 will reportedly be paid by the state of California. These payments will go to the Thomas More Society and to pay the church’s legal fees.