Church asked to follow court order and hold services outside – Hearing scheduled for violation of court order

Ventura, CA – A hearing is scheduled for Friday, August 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in courtroom 41, before Judge Vincent O’Neill to determine whether Godspeak Calvary Chapel and pastor Rob McCoy should be held in contempt for violating the court’s order prohibiting indoor worship services in violation of State and County health orders.

The County has asked the court to impose sanctions designed to ensure compliance with the court’s order and has recommended that a $1,000 fine for each violation be imposed against the Chapel. At this time, the County has not recommended monetary sanctions be imposed against pastor McCoy, nor does it seek sanctions against individual officials or members of the Chapel.

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 or online.

“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 people in our community. We encourage people to stay connected, but to do so safely,” said Public Health Director Rigo Vargas.

The Board further directed staff to reach out to the Church and Pastor again to try to identify a compromise that would achieve compliance. “This is a last resort effort. The County did not want to seek litigation for compliance. There are alternative locations available at parks throughout the County that will allow space for social distancing. Churches have been very creative in gathering safely. We hope Godspeak Church and Pastor McCoy work will with us to move their service outside during this time,” added Vargas.

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 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.


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John
John
8 months ago

Rob McCoy found in contempt of court and fined.

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

So, what do you do if it rains outdoors? What about the First Amendment of the Constitution and common sense? There has apparently been no recorded cases of the virus at the church, either.

Robin
Robin
8 months ago

I feel that the church should be fined $5000.00. for each violation.Parishoners fined $1000.00 for attending. Pastor Rob McCoy needs to serve 12 months jail time for violation of health orders and contempt of court. Why should he be any different from others.

C. Collier
C. Collier
8 months ago
Reply to  Robin

I absolutely disagree. The State and County both are seriously violating First Amendment right by interfering in the free exercise of religion.

Furthermore, it’s time for every person in California to stand up to the repressive Sacramento regime and say “ENOUGH”. We are all opening our businesses (those few that might be left, anyway), we’re going back to work. It’s time to take California back from the tin pot despots.

Heads on Sticks!

John
John
8 months ago

From what I have seen churches seem to be doing very well with their outside services. Multiple locations are available to McCoy to hold the same size service he holds indoors.