Canadian Pastor Holds Service in Undisclosed Location after Officials Barricade Church

Canadian Pastor Holds Service in Undisclosed Location after Officials Barricade Church


Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church in Alberta, Canada, who was recently jailed for violating COVID-19 restrictions, has found a new way to hold services after police fenced off his church’s building last week.

On Sunday, GraceLife congregants met in an undisclosed location for a worship service. The service was livestreamed, but the faces of congregants were blurred out. The video was later uploaded to the church’s YouTube channel and has since amassed nearly 60,000 views.

As Coates greeted those in attendance, he asserted that “they can take our facility, but we’ll just find another one.”

According to Faithwire, two men (identified in the video as Joe and John) then came and led the church in song, including a rendition of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. One of the men began by asking, “Did you ever think you’d be part of the underground church?”

Following the praise and worship portion of the service, Pastor Coates delivered a sermon titled “A Vain Thing,” which was taken from Psalm 2. Before delivering the message, Coates explained how his initial preaching text was going to be on Psalm 56, but he recognized that the church shut down was confirmation for him to change course.

“We need a Psalm more appropriate for an occasion like this. We need to hear a ‘Jesus is Lord’ kind of sermon,” he explained, which led to Psalm 2.

“As we read Psalm 2, I want you to consider that what we see taking place in this Psalm though it really describes something yet future to us, is a sense in which this is taking right now at present,” Coates said.

After explaining the context of the biblical text, Coates paralleled Psalm 2 to things that are happening today, namely how “governments all over the world are counseling together in a unified effort to oppress the people they govern.”

“In that context, those who are faithful, those who follow Christ and confess that Jesus is Lord are going to be the ones they have to silence and get out of the way because everyone else is going to fall in line,” he explained.

The pastor contended that “it’s going to be the Lord’s people who stand and herald him as king and call governments to submit to him as king and to govern in accord with the very Word that will judge them on judgement day.”

“Even as we think about our own government, we have called them to their duty. Unmistakably, we have directed them to their duty,” he added. “They know they are going to be judged in accord with the Word of God, that the Word of God is going to be the standard with which they are assessed and evaluated, and they still continue to persevere in their obstinacy. This is defiance.”

The service concluded with congregants singing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” and a scripture reading of 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.

Related:

Canadian Officials Barricade Church while Its Pastor Awaits Trial for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions

Pastor Turns Himself In for Violating COVID-19 Regulations

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chuang Tzu Dreaming


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.

Canadian Officials Barricade Church while Its Pastor Awaits Trial for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions

Canadian Officials Barricade Church while Its Pastor Awaits Trial for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions


A government health agency, along with law enforcement, has barricaded a church in Alberta, Canada, as its pastor awaits trial for violating COVID-19 restrictions.

Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church of Edmonton made headlines after he was arrested in February for keeping his church open during the COVID-19 pandemic in violation of public health orders.

Coates would spend one month and six days from jail before being released on March 22.

On Wednesday, Pastor Coates’ wife, Erin, detailed the incident as officials put up a fence around the church.

“They are putting up a private screen on the inside fence. I’ve heard there is a tactical and de-escalation team behind the building because AHS thinks this will cause anger and uproar with our people,” Coates wrote on Instagram. “Oh @albertahealthservices have you not learned who we are by now?”

Despite her husband’s compliance, Erin asked, “why create a narrative to make us look evil?”

“Anyone who shows up on our property taking their moment of fame with MSM and is not in line with how our elders conduct themselves is not a representative of GLC,” she continued.

Barricades being erected around church, Erin Coates questions why the Alberta Government is prosecuting her husbands church

John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the law firm representing the church, rebuked the Alberta government for barricading the church and for delaying Coates’ trial, which had initially been set for May 3. The Alberta Government Crown Prosecutor has called for the trial to be postponed until the summer so that the provincial government can gather evidence.

According to CBN News, Carpay argued in a statement that Alberta’s government has known for “twelve months” that lockdown measures would be “challenged in court for violating Charter freedoms.”

“The government knew in February that this trial was scheduled for May 3,” he noted. “They had enough evidence to shut down hundreds of small businesses, close restaurants, cancel hundreds of necessary surgeries and medical procedures, and force Albertans into a third lockdown, yet they are not ready to present their data in court?”

“We call into question the timing of the Crown to request an adjournment of the May 3 trial,” Carpay continued. “Pastor Coates is defending [the] freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, which are freedoms exercised by the entire population, not just churchgoers.”

Related:

Pastor Turns Himself In to Police for Violating COVID-19 Regulations

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Marc Harris/EyeEm


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.

Police Block and Barricade Canadian Church Over COVID-19 Violatons

Health officials in Alberta, Canada, made the decision to “physically close” a local church building until its leaders agree to finally comply with coronavirus regulations.

Police vehicles blocked entrances to the parking lot of GraceLife Church in Edmonton Wednesday morning and temporary fencing was erected around the building. The congregation has met normally since summer 2020, despite requirements that church gatherings limit capacity, require masks, and practice social distancing.

Over the last nine months, the province’s health department fielded more than 100 complaints about GraceLife and conducted 18 inspections, resulting in multiple fines and orders to comply. Its pastor was arrested and spent a month in jail refusing the conditions of bail, that he agree to follow health regulations.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represents GraceLife and its pastor James Coates, said the move to barricade private church property prevents citizens from “exercising their Charter freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and worship.”

As officials surrounded the church, dozens of GraceLife members gathered outside and sang hymns, according to a report by the Globe and Mail.

“Please pray for wisdom as our elders navigate this new development!” one member tweeted, posting a screenshot of the view of the new fencing from the church’s security camera.


Premier Jason Kenney told Albertans a week ago that the province is in its third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks. He suggested that more stringent enforcement by police may be necessary at this point, saying authorities have “been very patient during a difficult time trying to get compliance through education, through voluntary compliance, and using sanctions as a last resort.”

The GraceLife case has drawn the attention of those in both Canada and the US who fear government overreach during pandemic. Alberta legislator Dan Williams, a conservative politician and a Christian, spoke up to defend worship as a fundamental freedom. He said while he respects the 15 percent capacity limit for gatherings, “it is a different line to cross to barricade a church, a place of God.”

GraceLife leaders consider the COVID-19 risks overblown and claim that their ability to continue gathering without spreading the virus is proof.

“We believe love for our neighbor demands that we exercise our civil liberties,” the church wrote. “We do not see our actions as perpetuating the longevity of COVID-19 or any other virus that will inevitably come along. If anything, we see our actions as contributing to its end—the end of destructive lockdowns and the end of the attempt to institutionalize the debilitating fear of viral infections.”

Pastor Coates is due in court next month for violating gathering limits at GraceLife.


‘Get Out! You Nazis!’: Pastor Kicks Canadian Mask-Enforcing Officials out of His Church during Passover Service

‘Get Out! You Nazis!’: Pastor Kicks Canadian Mask-Enforcing Officials out of His Church during Passover Service


Over the weekend, a Polish pastor in Canada went viral after he ordered officials trying to impose a mask mandate at his church during a Passover service to leave.

On Saturday, Artur Pawlowski, the Street Church pastor in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, filmed his altercation with police officers and a government health official as he repeatedly yelled at them to leave the church, The Blaze reports.

“Immediately get out of this property! I don’t want to hear anything!” Pawlowski yelled at the officials.

“Until you get a warrant! OUT! Immediately go out and don’t come back! I don’t want to talk to you, not one word,” he continued to yell.

As they departed the church, Pawlowski continued his direct response to the police officers as he called them “Nazis” and accused them of intimidation towards the congregation.

“Do not come back, you Nazi psychopaths! Unbelievable sick evil people! Intimidating people in a church during the Passover,” he lamented. “You Gestapo Nazi communist fascists!”‘

“Can you imagine those psychopaths? Passover,” the pastor said as he looked directly into the camera. “The holiest Christian festival of the year and they’re coming to intimidate Christians during the holiest festival? Unbelievable. What is wrong with those sick psychopaths. It’s beyond me. How dare they.”

At the time of this writing, the video, which was posted to Twitter, has nearly 3 million views.

On Sunday, Calgary Police explained in a statement that the churchgoers were “not adhering to the government’s COVID-19 public health orders, which are in place to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Regarding Pawlowski, they noted that he was “uncooperative with the health inspector, and repeatedly raised his voice asking all parties to leave the premises, which they did approximately one minute after entry and in a peaceful manner.”

“We understand the pandemic has caused great disruption to all Calgarians in their professional and personal lives. We do not wish to disrupt anyone’s holidays or religious or spiritual events, however, we must support our partner agencies when called upon to help ensure everyone can safely celebrate these occasions,” the statement concluded.

Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/WDnet


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.