THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — Godspeak Calvary Chapel Church in Thousand Oaks was found to be in contempt of court Friday for violating the state’s COVID-19 health orders.
A Ventura County judge Friday ordered the church to pay a $3,000 fine for the violation of holding worship services indoors, which is has done for the past two Sundays.
The battle between the county and the church has been brewing since July when the church refused to close after a statewide ban on indoor services and culminated in a judge granting a temporary restraining order against the church on Aug. 7 in an effort to prevent it from holding in-person services.
But two days later, Pastor Rob McCoy hosted indoor Sunday services in defiance of the order and warned worshippers that if they could face citations if they chose to attend.
“Of course, we will be mindful of fire codes and we will limit it and will close the doors,” he said in an update posted to social media ahead of the service. “The first 1,000 people could feasibly [Sunday] receive a citation as the emergency temporary restraining order approved by the judge on Friday declares that not only will I be targeted with a citation, but as will the first 1 to 1,000 ‘Does’, whether they be congregants or visitors.”
The following day, Aug. 10, the county asked the court to hold McCoy in contempt for violating the restraining order.
McCoy has previously said his church was being targeted.