Grace Community Church announces legal team in quest to hold in-person services in California
'We stand firm to continue fulfilling our biblical mandate from Christ to proclaim the Gospel and assemble together' - Pastor John MacArthur
Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur announced Wednesday that attorneys Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri will represent him and the church in their efforts to continue in-person religious services amid the state of California's and city of Los Angeles' efforts to stop them during the coronavirus.
The church is facing a cease-and-desist order issued by the city that carries a daily fine of $1,000 or arrest if it continues to hold such services.
"We stand firm to continue fulfilling our biblical mandate from Christ to proclaim the Gospel and assemble together, and I earnestly hope that our stance will encourage other pastors, churches, and the general public across America and the world to also stand firm for biblical Truth," MacArthur said in a statement. "Church is essential."
LiMandri said: "It is unconstitutional for Governor Newsom and the State of California to discriminate against churches by treating them less favorably than other organizations and activities that are not protected by the First Amendment."
LiMandri is a constitutional law attorney and a religious freedom expert. He holds a law degree from Georgetown
Ellis is a constitutional law attorney, senior fellow at the Falkirk Center for Faith & Liberty, and senior legal adviser for the 2020 Trump presidential campaign. She is the author of "The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution" and has a law degree from the University of Richmond.
Franklin Graham, the son of the renowned evangelist Billy Graham, has publicly expressed his support for MacArthur and the church in a Facebook post and encouraged people to attend the church services.