Judge orders Ventura County church to stop indoor worship services

A pastor at a Ventura County church said Friday that he plans to continue holding inside services, shortly after a judge issued a temporary restraining order baring indoor worship services.

Rob McCoy, the pastor of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, has defied orders to stop indoor services because of the coronavirus. McCoy argued his parish was not at risk, noting that none of the parishioners had tested positive for the virus.

Ventura County’s administrator and health officer filed a lawsuit last week noting the pastor’s actions could harm the public, through increased hospitalizations and even deaths.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco agreed noting an “immediate threat to public health.”

“On a scale of one to 10 of the most immediate irreparable harm possible, this is a 10,” Judge Guasco said Friday. “It doesn’t get much more immediate or irreparable than the threat that a lot of people are going to spread a contagious and deadly disease.”

Even so, McCoy said he plans to continue holding indoor worship services.