Pastors and worshippers from across Alberta gathered at the Calgary Remand Centre, the jail where Tim Stephens is currently being held — illegally, according to his lawyers from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms — in a show of faith and solidarity with the imprisoned pastor and his family.
The group was comprised of well over 100 members. Among them was Pastor Trevor Stephens, who spoke to the crowd decrying the wrongful imprisonment of his brother. Alex Russell, the associate pastor at Fairview Baptist Church, was also present and served as an informal emcee as the event proceeded. Pastors David Harness Jr. and John Klassen were also on hand to address the crowd. Pastor Tim’s family, including his wife, children and parents were also present.
Perhaps most notably, Pastor James Coates of GraceLife church, who spent 35 days behind bars himself for his alleged defiance of COVID restrictions, was present, and shared final remarks with the crowd as the day came to an end. He passionately urged Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Justice Kaycee Madu to release Pastor Tim, insisting that the government has skirted accountability for its actions and engaged in targeted persecution of Fairview Baptist Church.
The sky threatened rain all day, but as seems to be the case whenever a group gathers in support of these persecuted pastors, it waited for the event to end before thundering down upon the Calgary Remand Centre. The crowd, a mix of congregants, politicos and freedom-loving activists sang loudly, remained joyful, and were wholly unified in their calls for the release of Pastor Tim.
Despite the occasional police vehicle drive-by, no interference with the rally occurred. Several mainstream media outlets were covering the event, and we captured one interaction in which Alex Russell of Fairview Baptist declined an interview with one of these outlets citing mistrust of their editorial practices. He did graciously grant us an interview, however, as did most of the other pastors in attendance. We were also fortunate to speak with Raquel Stephens, Pastor Tim’s wife, who has carried the burden of her husband’s arrests with inspiring grace and civility. Pastor Tim would surely urge any believers who might be reading this to pray for his wife and family in these trying times.
It is worth noting that Pastor Artur Pawlowski’s church also gathered for worship the same day, and their gathering carried on without interruption by Calgary Police Services.
Rebel News has been so fortunate to be welcomed in to share the story of Pastor Tim Stephens, his family, and the Fairview Baptist family of faith. To the countless individuals graciously thanking us for covering this story fairly and dependably, no thanks are needed. This is our job. It is we who must thank you for your openness and trust. We are honored and humbled.
Pastor Tim, as you know, is not the only pastor in Calgary to have spent time in jail for his unerring commitment to the faith. Pastor Artur Pawlowski is in the middle of the legal battle of his life. If you want to help him stand for his right to worship, please donate at SaveArtur.com.