Pastor Tim Stephens was arrested on Monday afternoon on new charges, after Fairview Baptist Church gathered for underground worship for the second week in a row since their church was effectively seized by Alberta Health Services last Saturday.
Alberta authorities were forced to drop other charges against Pastor Tim last month, after discovering that Alberta Health Services never served Pastor Stephens with the court order he was accused of having violated, a requirement under the order. That effectively ended the case against Pastor Tim, but he will now be facing another legal battle.
On Tuesday, Rebel News reported that Pastor Tim will be held in prison until June 28 due to his refusal to sign bail conditions that would limit his ability to gather with his congregants.
Over the weekend, an ever-growing crowd gathered at the undisclosed location for services and shared the word, sang songs of praise and heard Pastor Tim preach.
As worship progressed, a police helicopter discovered the gathered congregation.
It is unclear if police were actually searching for the group or simply happened upon it, as the helicopter was significantly north of the location of worship and continued towards the city. It wasn’t until several minutes later that the helicopter returned and completed repeated passes overhead.
Minutes later, police vehicles were seen circling the location, but they never moved in to interrupt worship or make arrests.
Ironically, all efforts to suppress worship by Alberta Health Services, whether at Pastor Artur Pawlowski’s or Pastor Tim’s church have only served to significantly bolster church attendance. As public health restrictions continue to be relaxed, these churches are not facing defeat at the hands of overreaching officials, quite the opposite — they are stronger and larger than ever before.
Despite worship continuing, Pastor Tim was arrested in front of his family on Monday. He is fortunate to be represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, who will be working for his immediate release.
To help support pastors like Pastor Tim and Pastor Artur Pawlowski who are fighting for religious freedom, please donate at SaveArtur.com.
This story is developing. Keep checking Rebel News for updates.