On Friday, Los Angeles County terminated the lease to a parking lot Grace Community Church has been using since 1975. It is the latest attempt by the county to shutdown the indoor worship services John MacArthur and the church have been holding despite the county’s orders for all indoor church services to be postponed in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
A letter received on August 28, 2020 by Grace Community Church from the Director of Public Works, Mark Pestrella, informed the church the Los Angeles County Flood Control District is exercising their right to terminate the lease agreement they have had for over 40 years. The letter states that Grace Community Church has 30 days to vacate the property. The letter shows that they have been paying $8,301.41 a month to rent the parking lot.
John MacArthur and Grace Community Church’s attorney Jenna Ellis stated in a press release from the Thomas More Society:
Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order. In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal. The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear—if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you. The church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the county is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.
On August 25, 2020 a judge found the church to be an essential service allowing them to remain open until their September 4, 2020 court date. This lease termination represents the county’s fifth attempt to shutdown Grace Community Church’s indoor worship services. John MacArthur filed a Declaration against the county of Los Angeles on Sunday August 23, 2020 giving testimony of how essential Grace Community Church is and why it should be allowed to gather for indoor worship. President Trump has also expressed his support by phone to MacArthur for taking a stand against the county’s mandates earlier this month.