John MacArthur's Grace Community church in Sun Valley, California, has won a huge victory in its legal battle against Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictive COVID-19 orders, multiple outlets report. Both the Los Angeles Community Board of Supervisors and the state of California will pay the church $400,000 apiece as their part of a legal settlement.
"After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that some public health safety measures could not apply to houses of worship, resolving this litigation is the responsible and appropriate thing to do," read a statement from county officials, per RNS. "From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County has been committed to protecting the health and safety of its residents. We are grateful to the county's faith organizations for their continued partnership to keep their congregants and the entire community safe and protected from COVID-19."
The church filed suit In August 2020, at which time its legal counsel, the Thomas More Society, said, "The suit seeks to prohibit California from enforcing its unconstitutional and onerous coronavirus pandemic regulations against Grace Community Church and seeks a judgment that the health orders violate the California Constitution.
Grace Community Church tweeted out its gratitude:
Join us in thanking the Lord that a settlement agreement has been reached between Los Angeles County and Grace Community Church. Read a statement from Pastor John: https://t.co/MMbyjbEIDI
— Grace Church (@GraceComChurch) September 1, 2021
The text of MacArthur's statement follows:
We are very grateful for our Lord's protection and providence throughout this past year. Our commitment to the Word of God and His church has never wavered. We have simply continued to stand firm, as we always have and always will. We put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church. Over the past year, our congregation has seen His hand of blessing in ways like never before, and the Lord's promise has been realized: "I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." I am thankful for the advocacy of our attorneys, Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, and this outcome.
MacArthur also announced Sunday, in anticipation of the settlement, that the church would donate the funds received to the Thomas More Society, reports RNS. "Nothing will come to us except the affirmation that the Lord preserved and protected us through this," he said.
Jenna Ellis, lead counsel for the church, also posted the news on Twitter, noting that "The church IS essential":
Very pleased with the approval of an $800,000 settlement and total win for my clients, @johnmacarthur and @GraceComChurch, on behalf of @ThomasMoreSoc.— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) August 31, 2021
The church IS essential.
Our statement: pic.twitter.com/Rin5W7eA8x
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