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CA Churches May Not Have to Convert to ‘Family Friendly’ Strip Clubs After SCOTUS Win

Rob McCoy, pastor of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury, California, took a similar approach, first playing a Fox News clip of Mike Huckabee saying, “I would think it’s ridiculous to say that people are safer in a strip club than they are at church.” The former Arkansas governor joked that churches could become “temporary strip clubs” to be able to continue meeting legally.

As Pastor McCoy removed his tie, churchgoers cheered and even held up dollar bills. “This is insane!” he said. “Cannot America see the hypocrisy and the stupidity of all this? You’re being lied to.” To government officials, he said, “We are finished with your tyranny.” McCoy also called Gov. Newsom “the Grinch” and accused him of “operating by fear.”

In August, Godspeak Calvary Chapel violated a restraining order by holding indoor worship services and was fined $3,000. The next month, a Superior Court judge ruled that strip clubs in California could remain open to provide live entertainment.

COVID-19 Claims the Life of Associate Pastor

At Water of Life Community Church in Fontana, California, staff and members are mourning the death of Bob Bryant, a longtime associate pastor. Bryant, 58, reportedly developed coronavirus symptoms while on vacation, and his wife, Lori, posted on Facebook that he suffered a heart attack and ended up on a ventilator before dying November 30.

Bryant, who worked in the church’s benevolence department, “had the biggest heart of anyone you would ever meet,” according to church staff member Susan DePaola. He ministered to “thousands of people by helping them financially and spiritually praying over them,” she adds. “He was an encourager and an uplifter and just always had a smile.”

Both indoor and outdoor memorial services will be held for Bryant on December 7, despite an outdoor-only funeral policy currently in place in hard-hit San Bernardino County. The church website notes that “social distancing will be practiced and face masks are required at all times while on campus.” No outbreak has been reported at the church.

Five weeks ago, Water of Life defied a public health order by reopening for indoor worship. “The county is aware we are meeting inside,” DePaola said. “We’re not trying to break rules. They know what we’re doing.” A county spokesman says it received a complaint mid-November about the church’s indoor services and sent it a letter, requesting compliance.

When the pandemic began in March, forcing the cancellation of in-person worship services, Water of Life founder and lead pastor Dan Carroll said, “We believe that God is bigger than the coronavirus. We also believe in taking the right precautions to ensure the safety and health of everyone who comes to our campuses.”