In the latest move to punish Grace Community Church for exercising their constitutional right to worship, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works sent a letter to the church demanding they vacate part of their parking lot in the next 30 days. Despite the lease’s 45-year history, the letter gives the church 30 days to leave the premises, citing nothing but the Los Angeles County Flood Control District’s right to terminate the lease whenever they want.
The Department of Public Works also threatened to “remove Grace’s personal property” if the church does not comply.
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“If Grace fails to vacate the premise as required, the District may enter the premises and remove Grace’s personal property in accordance with the Agreement and applicable law, and Grace will be responsible for any resultant expenses incurred by the District,” the letter read.
The church, pastored by John MacArthur, is in a legal battle with the county of Los Angeles over their constitutional right to assemble indoors for worship services, despite state and county health orders preventing them from otherwise doing so. Last week, the Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled that there is no order that can prevent the church from meeting in person. Despite this ruling, the county continues to target the church for defying health orders.
According to Jenna Ellis, a special counsel with Thomas More Society representing the church as well as senior legal advisor for the Trump Campaign, the letter demanding the church vacate the parking lot they leased is clearly linked to the church’s COVID-19 restrictions legal battle.
“Los Angeles County is retaliating against Grace Community Church for simply exercising their constitutionally protected right to hold church and challenging an unreasonable, unlawful health order,” Ellis said.
“The Church has peacefully held this lease for 45 years and the only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable,” Ellis added.
The county ordered the church to be gone from the premises on or before October 1 of this year, but Ellis said the new attack on Grace and John MacArthur will not stop them from pursuing the county’s overreach in power concerning meeting in person for worship services.
“In America, we have a judicial system to ensure that the executive branch does not abuse its power, and Grace Community Church has every right to be heard without fear of reprisal,” she said. “The Democrats’ message to Americans is clear — if you don’t bow to every whim of tyranny, the government will come after you.”