Other Churches in Canada Push Back
TBC is not the only church in Canada going toe to toe with the government over the right to meet for worship. A pastor in the province of Alberta is currently under arrest because his church has been holding in-person worship services. James Coates of GraceLife Church of Edmonton was charged on Feb. 7 and turned himself in to police on Feb. 16. According to the Edmonton Journal, Coates was “charged in contravention of the Public Health Act for being over capacity and failing to adhere to physical distancing requirements.” The pastor’s next court appearance is March 3, and he awaits a trial set for May 3. GraceLife Church has continued to meet for in-person worship while Coates is in custody.
Last fall, Springs Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was fined $37,000 for holding drive-in worship services. Church of God Restoration in Steinbach, which is about 45 miles from Winnipeg, was fined $5,000 after people met in person for worship on Nov. 22.
“We will pay $83,000 for having church on January 24,” said TBC Pastor Jacob Reaume. “I could say it was the most extravagantly priced service I’ve ever held, but that would not be factual. Every service I’ve held has cost Christ His very own blood, which is worth infinitely more than any dollar amount.”