Friday, May 28 was a day of celebration for Pastor Tim Stephens. All charges of contempt of court that had been brought against him by Alberta Health Services were dropped. By Friday afternoon, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms issued a press release stating firstly that the May 6 injunction issued by Justice John Rooke did not apply to Pastor Tim Stephens, and secondly, that he had not been provided notice of the order prior to his arrest. Accordingly, the charges were rescinded.
Sadly, the celebrations were short-lived, as police found Pastor Tim Stephens at home on Saturday evening and served the May 6 order to him. Yes, the very same order pertaining to the charges they had dropped only one day prior.
Why would the authorities drop charges and then serve notice of the same order the very next day? Embarrassingly enough, the first time police alleged that Tim Stephens had been served, they had in fact served the wrong person, an individual bearing no resemblance to Tim Stephens at all.
Regardless of Alberta Health Services’ legal fumble, proper notification of the order was made on Saturday, and the potential for arrest was once again a reality for Pastor Tim.
Unsurprisingly, the threat of arrest was not going to stop Sunday worship. Obedience to God is a non-negotiable for Pastor Tim.
Worship took place at Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary, and the morning started off relatively quietly, until an Alberta Health Services representative, accompanied by two police officers, attempted to gain entry to the building during worship. Two brave young men politely requested that they come back after worship, and cited section 176(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada forbidding the disruption of worship.
Alberta Health Services lawyers and Calgary police eventually returned to their vehicles, where they remained until their departure sometime later. Despite being invited to enter the church after worship, they made no further attempts to enter the premises.
Interestingly, Pastor Artur Pawlowski happened to begin preaching downtown just prior to the departure of police from our location. We suspect that the officers may have left Fairview Baptist Church in order to proceed to Pastor Artur’s location.
In spite of the ongoing threat of arrest, there was another cause for celebration after worship. One of the church members graced Pastor Tim with a very generous gift. Pastor Tim, who along with his family has been through so much lately, was incredibly joyful at the surprise.