A suburban Los Angeles megachurch will get $800,000 from the state of California and Los Angeles County after state and federal courts issued permanent injunctions over COVID-related restrictions on houses of worship.
The county’s board of supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a settlement with Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, and its pastor, the Rev. John MacArthur, 81, a popular Christian radio broadcaster. The county will pay $400,000 for the church’s legal fees, while the state contributes another $400,000, the church’s attorneys said.
Los Angeles-based City News Service reported the county had already spent $950,000 on its own legal fees in the matter, and that its $400,000 settlement payment would come from the county’s public health funds.
The battle between Grace Community Church, located in Sun Valley, and the state had been ongoing since the start of the pandemic. ...
The Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm specializing in religious liberty issues, represented the church and Mr. MacArthur.
“The church is essential,” said the church‘s attorneys, Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, in a statement. “Religious liberty and the Constitution won today against the overbroad, arbitrary, indeterminate, and clearly unconstitutional mandates from Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County. I am so very proud of Pastor MacArthur’s steadfast leadership and refusal to abdicate headship of Christ’s church to the state.”
Mr. LiMandri stated, “No longer can the County of Los Angeles and the State of California treat people of faith like second-class citizens. This result is a victory for all Americans who cherish religious liberty.”
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