On Saturday, Pastor Tim Stephens’ Calgary church, Fairview Baptist, was effectively seized by Alberta Health Services. Authorities moved in during the early morning hours and changed all the locks on the building. Pastor Tim was not made aware of the seizure of the church until media outlets contacted him asking about the changing of the locks.
Pastor Tim immediately set to work arranging for a location to host worship on Sunday, and without fail, by Sunday morning worship proceeded without issues. I was fortunate to be able to attend worship at the confidential location, and despite having lost their church building, it was clear that the congregants were full of joy as they worshiped together.
Pastor James Coates’ GraceLife Church was also seized by authorities, so this now makes two churches, two privately owned buildings, being held hostage by overreaching bureaucrats. Many were quick to point out the absurdity of these closures, in light of the restriction violations by UCP officials that went unpunished at the Sky Palace in Edmonton the prior week.
On Wednesday afternoon, I met with Pastor Tim outside of his church for an interview. He shared his thoughts about the experience of having his place of worship taken away, his congregation’s immutable faith, Sunday’s worship services, the hypocrisy of provincial authorities and his plan moving forward.
Pastor Tim Stephens is being exceptionally well defended by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, but other pastors are still fighting for their fundamental freedoms. If you want to help another Calgary pastor stand up for his rights, go to SaveArtur.com and contribute to our campaign to defend Pastor Artur Pawlowski.