By Michael Hernandez
NEWBURY PARK—Godspeak Calvary Chapel worship services attracted visitors that even flew into Southern California from other parts of the nation as well as thousands who watched the three Sunday in-door live services (the 9 a.m. worship service had an audience of 2,525 viewers; the 11 a.m. service had 950 viewers; while the 1 p.m. service had 450 viewers).
Pastor McCoy referenced visitors from Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Tennessee as well as congregants connected with Pastor Jim Domen’s California United Church Network; the 330,000 views from supporters of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor Jack Hibbs; and 412 Murrietta Church Pastor Tim Thompson who preached to his congregants from a walkway at Godspeak Calvary and then attended the third worship service.
“I want to thank those (who showed up) from all over the country,” said Pastor Rob McCoy (who celebrates his 56th birthday on Monday, Aug. 10) in his opening remarks at the 9 a.m. service. “One church showed up and said we don’t need to sit in the service, but we will take citations outside so you are free to worship.”
Godspeak Calvary Chapel generated nationwide media after Ventura County Board of Supervisors led by Thousand Oaks Supervisor Linda Parks voted 3-2 (with Board Supervisors Steve Bennett and John Zaragoza joining with Linda Parks against Godspeak) at a closed session afternoon board meeting on August 6th to seek a temporary restraining order to pursue a lawsuit against the Thousand Oaks (Newbury Park) church and 1,000 John Does who attend Sunday services.
Meanwhile, Pastor Rob McCoy said he has received thousands of phone calls and emails from across the nation as well as from a White House legal counsel supporting Godspeak. McCoy said he was most encouraged by the local pastors of Conejo Valley, many who came to the church services on Sunday. The church attendance of 400 on a Sunday has grown to over 1,000 attending three different worship services.
News organizations parked in the church parking lot were there from CBS News, ABC News, and Telemundo. Three protestors (two locals) carried signs and a man dressed in black was seen shouting obscenities against the church while filming those entering the church parking lot (later approached by two Ventura County Sheriff deputies).
(Editor’s Note: To see two Citizens Journal stories recently published about this issue go to: https://www.citizensjournal.us/county-sues-calvary-chapel-godspeak-and-1000-john-does-who-attended-verboten-church-services/and https://www.citizensjournal.us/county-votes-to-litigate-against-godspeak-church-in-newbury-park.)
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].