GraceLife Church Packed as Pastor James Coates Returns after Month in Jail

The parking lot at Gracelife Church was filled to the brim and the congregants were ebullient and raucous in their praise to see their pastor take the pulpit for the first time in nearly 6 weeks, forcing him to occasionally pause while the congregation cheered and clapped for him as he said a few words before the service.

I’m so thankful for all the love and support you’ve shown me and my family. I’m so thankful for our leadership, for the courage they’ve shown, Pastor Jake, and the courage he’s shown. For Pastor Mike, and all he’s been doing. I’m immensely humbled by the men in this country who stood with us, stood with me, supported me, preached sermons that were supportive and expressed love and affection.

I’m so thankful for you the congregation who have written to me, your letters were incredibly encouraging to me, and strengthened me, and served me so immensely well. I’m grateful for the Master’s Seminary, Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, and the way they supported me and stood by me and upheld me, all of the men that I could have ever asked to be by my side are…and it’s just such a blessing.

He went on to thank a few more people, along with his wife Erin, and his boys and marveled:

This is all to the Lord. It is amazing to me how one act of obedience in a little wee RCMP office, in little wee Spruce Grove could have the impact that it did. I couldn’t sign that condition, and the rest is history. And so anyway, it is a blessing to be back, you can just know that I’m incredibly overwhelmed. I don’t think I understand the fullness of what’s happened. I’m still trying to wrap my head around things, I’m trying to bear back under the responsibility of the pastoral ministry and all that demands of me, and so you can just know I’m overwhelmed, but I’m immensely grateful and immensely thankful to the Lord. I love you and have missed you dearly.

As we stated last week, James did not preach the sermon, but rather that honor fell to Pastor Jacob Spenst.

Police showed up at the service but did not enter, ultimately leaving only one cruiser parked nearby for the entirety of the service. Alberta Health Services had members of the public health team on site, but they did not enter the church.



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