County resorts to 'harassing' of MacArthur's church: attorney

Tuesday, September 1, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Grace Community Church (California)Los Angeles County, which is still at odds with Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church, has now taken action over land the church has been leasing from the county for decades and using as a parking lot.

"On Friday, Grace Community Church received a letter from the Los Angeles County Public Works Department that said they're going to suspend the lease that the church has held with the county since 1975 for a large portion of their parking lot," attorney Jenna Ellis tells OneNewsNow. Ellis is with Thomas More Society, the law firm representing Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church.

According to Ellis, no reason was given for the suspension.

Ellis

"This land is kind of an embankment – it's adjacent to the church, it's really unsuitable for any other use – and the church has been peacefully enjoying this lease with the county since 1975 [and] has improved upon it for a parking lot for their congregation," Ellis continues.

Los Angeles County has tried unsuccessfully on several occasions to get an emergency shutdown order to prevent MacArthur and the church from having indoor worship services.

The attorney contends the county is "now obviously just targeting the church with harassment" by issuing a 30-day notice to stop using the parking lot or be evicted. "So, this is just the latest attempt from LA County to harass and try to shut down Grace Community Church," she adds.

In the meantime, Pastor MacArthur told The Todd Starnes Show that although it's not the church's preference, people attending services at Grace Community Church will park elsewhere in the neighborhood if the county takes away parking spaces:

"… [T]here are some neighbors that don't want people parking in front of their houses, but that's what they're doing already. We have a tent up that takes up a huge chunk of our parking lot already, so we'll remove that tent and get back some parking – but yeah, people want to come to Grace Community Church. We ask ourselves every Sunday, where in the world are these people parking? You drive for blocks and they're still walking to their cars."

MacArthur went on to say that he's unaware of anyone from Grace Community Church having or having had COVID-19. That is key, given that LA County and other parts of California do not want people attending indoor services as part of a stated effort to "combat the spread" of coronavirus.

MacArthur

"We don't know anybody in our church who is sick," MacArthur told Starnes. "No one in our church that I know of has been ill. Some people probably had it and didn't know it; maybe some got tested and had no symptoms. But, no, we've had no one in the hospital."

A full hearing over Grace Community Church's resumption of services is scheduled for Friday, September 4. Pastor MacArthur had been doing online-only services until this summer, when he said people began showing up unannounced and on a voluntary basis.

"They didn't buy the narrative [about COVID-19]," MacArthur has told Todd Starnes and other radio or TV hosts.

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