Pastor Rob McCoy faced a judge today in a California courthouse for a contempt of court hearing against Godspeak Calvary Chapel, the church he pastors, for violating a court order from the county that restricted them from holding indoor worship services due to the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Judge O’Neill found Godspeak Calvary Chapel and Pastor Rob McCoy in contempt of the court’s order. The county was seeking a total of $,6000 in fines, $1000 for each violation (two Sundays with three services each equals 6 times of holding indoor worship services), but Judge O’Neill imposed a $500 fine for each of the violations which totaled $3000. Pastor McCoy wasn’t issued any penalties, and the Judge said the church didn’t have to pay attorney fees. According to the VC Star, the county was not seeking fines against McCoy or any other church members at this time for this hearing.
Pastor McCoy Makes His Case
While on the stand, McCoy stated they aren’t meeting outdoors due to a staff member that has a sun allergy, and that he (McCoy) has a stack of death threats he has received (because they have held indoor services). He claimed that the elderly and disabled members of the church also pose a concern if they had to worship in the hot sun. Pastor McCoy then pointed out that Godspeak Calvary Chapel is located in the zip code that has the lowest per capita COVID-19 case rates in the county. He also emphasized that none of the congregants have tested positive for the coronavirus for the two months they have been meeting indoors with no masks and not practicing social distancing.
According to Kyle Jorrey, a journalist who was live tweeting the courtroom hearing, McCoy said, “There’s been family issues, substance abuse issues, suicide concerns, it’s affected our fellowship like it has the entire community, it’s been devastating since shutdown started.” McCoy indicated those reasons were the driving force behind opening back up. McCoy then went on to say that the last three Sundays have brought over 2,500 people to Godspeak Calvary Chapel, and that the (real) concern is fire code (not the coronavirus).
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Source: Church Leaders