On Thursday (March 9), pastor John MacArthur made his first appearance on the stage of Grace Community Church (GCC) since Jan. 1, when he preached one of the church’s morning services, but was not well enough to preach the second.
Later that month, MacArthur underwent heart surgery to clear blocked arteries. The surgery was successful, but MacArthur’s scheduled timeline to return to the pulpit was nevertheless ambitious. He was scheduled to preach the opening session of the Shepherds Conference this week, an annual event hosted at GCC, but was unable to do so.
However, he was able to appear in a subsequent session for a more informal conversation, which was facilitated by Austin Duncan, a staff pastor at GCC.
MacArthur Provides a Health Update
Referring to MacArthur’s appearance at Shepherds Conference as “a providence,” Duncan nevertheless admitted that MacArthur was “probably not supposed to be here.” Commending him, Duncan said, “Classic MacArthur, total jock, total warrior, total lion.”
Jokingly asking whether MacArthur would be giving up “extreme motorsports,” Duncan invited MacArthur to provide a health update.
“Well, I feel great,” MacArthur said. “I’ve felt good—really, generally speaking—before it became apparent that I had some arteries blocked, and coming out of that, that was completely successful for which I’m thankful. And since then I’ve felt great.”
“The challenge for me has been to handle the medication. I’m not a good drug addict,” MacArthur added, eliciting laughter from attendees.
Duncan went on to recall that MacArthur had joined a pastors’ meeting a few weeks prior. Duncan said that upon sitting down, MacArthur joked, “This meeting is brought to you by Pfizer.”
“Which coming from MacArthur is a very meaningful sentence,” Duncan added, a reference to GCC’s legal battles with Los Angeles County and the state of California following the church’s decision to defy pandemic-related restrictions on gatherings.
Those legal battles will be chronicled in a documentary produced by the church, titled “Essential Church,” which will be released in August.
MacArthur went on to elaborate on his recovery, saying that he had spent 10 days in the hospital following two heart procedures.
“I’ve never been this age before, so I’m trying to figure out what to do with it,” MacArthur joked, adding that every day he feels “a little stronger” and gets “a little better.” He predicted that within a few months, he’d be “back to normal or better than normal.”