Calvary Chapel Godspeak Loses Round 1 on Indoor Church Services Lawsuit by County- “We Will Be Open Sunday”

By George Miller

Says White House Supports Them

Looks like Calvary Chapel Godspeak lost round 1 in the lawsuit by Ventura County to stop indoor church services which have been banned by the county’s and state’s COVID-19 emergency orders. This morning, Senior Pastor Rob McCoy confirmed that the judge granted the emergency TRO (Temporary Restraining Order). An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for August 31. We wanted to go, but it was all done on a teleconference with judge, plaintiff and defendant only, so we didn’t have access to hear or see it. It seems that COVID-19 even affects judicial proceedings adversely.

McCoy said this afternoon that they were reviewing their options and would make some decisions this evening. 

Read LAWSUIT

Church services were initially banned by the state when the lockdown started in March, on the grounds that they are not essential. Godspeak announced resumption of limited indoor services in May and the ban was lifted, with restrictions, right before they resumed the services. In July, the ban was re-imposed, but the church chose not to comply on First Amendment and law of God grounds (the state doesn’t recognize the latter). This week the Ventura County Board of Supervisors met to authorize Counsel, in  a deeply divided vote, to take legal action against the church to force compliance. The lawsuit was filed the next day, against the church, McCoy and “1 to 1000 Does” (presently unnamed defendants who attended) and the hearing occurred this morning.

We asked McCoy for a statement. He wrote us about the order and said they would make a decision by 5 PM. He added that he had been contacted by the White House and that this has gone national. He did the video linked below this evening to inform the congregation and the public. The Church elders later voted unanimously to continue services. McCoy also declared that “The President’s Counsel Jenna Ellis called to offer her support.” We’re trying to learn exactly what that means.

Pastor McCoy’s Answer: “Come to Church! If you’re one of the first 1000, you get a prize- a summons”

Rather than repeat all of the background, we refer you to our previous article(s):

County Sues Calvary Chapel Godspeak AND 1000 John Does Who Attended Verboten Church Services

County Sues Calvary Chapel Godspeak AND 1000 John Does Who Attended Verboten Church Services

By George Miller & Debra Tash Calvary Chapel’s Co-Counsel Nada Higuera of Tyler Burch informed us that Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin for Ventura County today sued Calvary Chapel, Pastor Rob McCoy and “(John) Does 1 through 1000” who attended services forbidden by California Governor Gavin Newsom and a fourth level bureaucrat Dr. Robert Levin, […]

Ventura County Press Release:

Temporary restraining order issued for violation of Public Health Orders

Ventura, CA – On Friday, August 7, 2020, the Ventura County Superior Court granted a temporary restraining order requiring Godspeak Calvary Chapel and Pastor Rob McCoy to adhere to statewide and local public health orders requiring church services to be conducted outdoors with masks and social distancing and/or online. 

A further hearing on the matter is scheduled for August 31, 2020 and the temporary restraining order will remain in effect until that time.

Godspeak Calvary Chapel and McCoy, its pastor, have repeatedly held large, indoor worship services which violate current Health Orders issued by the State Public Health Officer and the Health Officer of Ventura County.  These orders are aimed to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19 during the current global pandemic. 

“Indoor gatherings, including indoor church services, are prohibited by the state at this time due to the increased person to person and community transmission leading to increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Churches can have their services outdoors and/or host virtual services,” said Public Health Director Rigo Vargas. “COVID-19 continues to spread from person to person and at gatherings. It is very important to follow the State’s guidance, so that the most vulnerable in our community can be spared from the disease. Churches and other community groups play a valuable role in the wellness of our County. We encourage people to stay connected, but to do so safely.”

In counties like Ventura, which are on the State Monitoring List due to concerning rates of disease spread, the health orders prohibit indoor gatherings for a number of businesses, activities, and events to protect the health and safety of residents from contracting COVID-19. 

The orders prohibit indoor gatherings for places and events such as gyms and fitness centers, non-essential office buildings, malls, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, protests, and worship services. 

Despite these orders and notifications from Public Health to cease indoor services and to move services outdoors or to host services virtually, Godspeak Calvary Chapel and Pastor McCoy insisted upon holding services indoors, without requiring masks or social distancing. 

Pastor McCoy has publicly stated that the church would not cease indoor services absent court intervention.  The County and its Health Officer were therefore compelled to seek relief from the court, to protect the life, health and safety of Ventura County residents.

“The best way to gather at this time is virtually or outdoors in accordance with state orders and guidance. The more we can work together to follow these guidelines the quicker we can get back to enjoying activities indoors,” added Vargas.

George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.


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21 Responses to Calvary Chapel Godspeak Loses Round 1 on Indoor Church Services Lawsuit by County- “We Will Be Open Sunday”

  1. John Wurts August 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    The attack on our freedoms by the county board of supervisors led by chief thug Linda Parks is not only immoral, it is illegal. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees both freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
    Furthermore, US Criminal Code Title 18 Section 242 states that no local official may deprive any citizen of their right and any official that does may serve time in prison.
    Perhaps it’s time for a citizen’s arrest of Linda Parks.
    Take the fight for liberty to the oppressor.

    Reply
  2. John Wurts August 11, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    The attack on our freedoms by the county board of supervisors led by chief thug Linda Parks is not only immoral, it is illegal. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees both freedom so assembly and freedom of religion.
    Furthermore, US Criminal Code Title 18 Section 242 states that no local official may deprive any citizen of their right and any official that does may serve time in prison.
    Perhaps it’s time for a citizen’s arrest of Linda Parks.
    Take the fight for liberty to the oppressor.

    Reply
  3. Karla T. August 10, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    what courthouse, Ventura? When Constitional rights are being strip from law abiding tax paying citizens, but antifa rioters are being allowed to burn and destroy businesses it’s hard to believe Americans don’t stand together for our rights. Today it’s the our religious rights where will it end?

    Reply
  4. John August 10, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Good News. McCoy to be held in contempt and hopefully jailed if all goes well.

    Reply
  5. Thomas Cole August 10, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    The death rate for co-vid19 is less than half the regular flue. In our population people generally die at a rate of .76 per year… and deaths from flue are about .o134 and from co vid the mortality rate is .0087. That .0087 co-vid mortality rate is from the Ventura County official number of 87 deaths per 850,000 residents.

    So the bottom line is co vid is half as deadly as the seasonal flue.

    The response of shutting down the country is a political hoax.

    Furthermore the shutting down of businesses and churches by the county supervisors including Steve Bennet is unconstitutional, un necessary and un helpful, because it targets the entire population. A better strategy would be to quarantine those people who are very sick with other problems and allow the rest of us to continue with whats left of our lives.

    Reply
    • John August 10, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      Absurd. 24,000 deaths from the flu this year. 163,000 from Covid. Those are real numbers contrary to what you may have heard on Rush Limbaugh.

      Reply
  6. Michael August 9, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Arrogance is not faith.

    Reply
  7. Sue August 8, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    All attendees not to sign DO NOT HOSPITALIZE, DO NOT RESUSCITATE orders so they don’t clutter hospitals with the covid cautious.

    Reply
  8. Sara August 8, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Having services that could potentially lead to someone’s death is ungodly and irresponsible. Be humble, put away your ego and starting caring for others.

    Reply
  9. ANTHON VAN LEEUWEN August 8, 2020 at 11:45 am

    One needs to consider that people who fly on an airline sit next to each other with masks on for hours, while churches are not allowed to meet. There is no common sense involved in the state orders to keep churches on lockdown and closed.

    We need to keep the names of the Ventura County Supervisors, Mr. Steve Bennett, Mr. John Zaragosa, and Ms. Linda Parks who authorized the county legal action and keep their names in the news.

    Mr. Steve Bennett came to our church over the course of several years with the goal of enlisting people to become foster parents. I thought this was a positive action on his part. Now to see him vote to close down church services is deeply disappointing. I certainly would never vote for him.

    Reply
  10. John August 8, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Good News!

    Just read in the Star that McCoy plans on violating the restraining order tomorrow and will hold services. I am sure that the judge will be impressed.

    Reply
  11. Joe Flores August 8, 2020 at 12:54 am

    Is something not clear or what is common sense for with adults. Pastor Mc Coy it’s called a Virus it doesn’t matter how people look at this it’s not something anyone can control, it will continue to kill humans. In the setting of gods worship home is not excerpt unless we are in desperate need of cash flow. Save the lives of your followers it will take time pray for your congregation and all the front line workers instead. God knows now we have one opportunity to care for this land and if we die of Covid we will not be following his wishes. If god gave the blessing for these medical professionals to help the human population we should follow the guidance that god is providing to them for our health sake.

    Reply
  12. Cori August 8, 2020 at 12:47 am

    Keep fighting the good fight. We stand with you Pastor McCoy.

    Reply
    • Mary Gallegos August 10, 2020 at 7:36 am

      So it’s called a virus. The common cold is a virus. The flu is a virus. H1N1 was a more deadly virus and nothing was shutdown. We commingled willingly. What has changed? Why this virus in particular? The flu has been killing our seniors for years. Why did we not notice before? Is this virus for real or was it man made? How is it that if you die of the flu we are following Gods wishes but not if we die of Covid? How do we know the medical professionals are following Gods guidance? From what I read they are political animals. I do know that as Americans we have freedom of worship and if that means we want to worship God in church we have that freedom guaranteed us by the US constitution.

      Reply
  13. Annie August 7, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    There should be a PROTEST every Sunday (9AM, 11AM, 1PM)at God Speak Church. Sing, pray aloud, chant scripture!

    Reply
  14. R Ellis August 7, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    John above stated, “McCoy lost as expected. And even if he takes it all the way to the Supreme court he will lose. Its all been litigated before folks.”

    John should’ve provided the case where a county bureaucrat can shut down all indoor church services in violation of the 1st Amendment “Free Exercise Clause.”

    IT’S NEVER BEEN “litigated” BEFORE! Only sick people during pandemics have been able to be legally held. You can’t prevent HEALTHY PEOPLE FROM EXERCISING THEIR 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS WHILE ALLOWING OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED TO REMAIN OPEN (i.e. liquor stores, etc.)
    ~ R. Ellis, Attorney at Law (25 years)

    Reply
    • John August 7, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      R Ellis you sure were asleep in law class. The authority of state and local government to protect public health is well established. And I do mean well.

      Reply
      • William Hicks August 8, 2020 at 2:02 am

        SURE JOHN, what you say may have some bearing on this case, BUT for me and many others, this just shows the significance of elections; fair and unfair elections, just and unjust application of the law.

        Reply
  15. Mike Smith August 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    KEEP MEETING ANYWAY, Godspeak Calvary Chapel Church.

    KEEP MEETING ANYWAY.

    The longer this goes on, the MORE attention it will get; the more attention it will get, the LESS able the establishment media will be able to avoid reporting on it (or give only one side).

    With only 88 days before election day, the media is more afraid to report on this persecution, than Pastor McCoy should be of the persecution itself. This fight is still on the church’s terms, folks!

    Reply
  16. John August 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    McCoy lost as expected. And even if he takes it all the way to the Supreme court he will lose. Its all been litigated before folks. The US Supreme Court will probably not even vote to hear the case.

    Reply
    • William Hicks August 9, 2020 at 2:31 am

      Maybe so John

      But the negative publicity that State, County and local government will receive will be devastating to leftist politicians if t’splayed out in the news media.

      Reply

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