Canadian Pastor and Elder Team Ordered by Court to Pay $85,000 In New Fines for Defying Lockdown

On January 24, 2021, Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo, held a service unmasked and together as one congregation, violating the government’s shutdown order which at the time prohibited churches from gathering in more than 10 people. For that crime, they were fined $83,000 for contempt—not just the church entity, or the pastor, but all six members of the elder board were handed down fines. This is that breakdown:

Pastor Will and I each owe $5,000.  Pastor Randy owes $4,000.  Each of the other elders owe $3,000.  The church itself owes $15,000.  And we have been ordered to pay $45,000 to cover the legal fees of the Ministry of the Attorney General.

These are fines that are a done deal. Because they are for contempt charges they’re essentially unable to be appealed or waived, and are not theoretical “they could get fined up to…” but in fact are judgments rendered.

With that those expenses looming, the church received another court ruling against them on Tuesday July 27, explaining on their website:

On April 25, 2021, we held another extravagant worship service.  That service was held in contempt of another court order.  We were sentenced today.  Here’s how it breaks down:  both Pastor Will and I owe $10,000 each, the other elders owe $7,500 each, and the church itself owes $35,000.  The judge will review the Ministry of the Attorney General’s legal costs and then order us to pay legal costs at a later date.  So in total we owe $85,000 plus legal costs.  

That’s $170,000 in real-time fines, and there are likely more on the way. We’ve written before how in many ways, Trinity Bible Chapel has faced the most opposition and steepest price out of any church in North America for being open. GraceLife Church in Alberta had their pastor James Coates arrested and spend over a month in jail. Fairview Baptist Church also had their church building taken away, and their pastor Tim Stephens served nearly 3 weeks in prison, but TBC has endured absolutely brutal, punishing, unending fines for being open, including facing $50 million dollars in potential fines right now.

Despite the blow, Pastor Jacob Rheaume says that they’ve counted the cost of staying open during the pandemic and insisting that Jesus is the head of the church, not the government.

When this is all added up, we’re gonna owe a lot of money.  But Jesus is worth it. I’ve heard some people say crazy things like, “Giving up our worship services is a small price right now, just a little inconvenience.”  The problem with that is that worship services are not ours to give up.  They belong to Jesus.  He purchased His worship with the price of His own blood.  That mindset only reveals how man-centered many are in their view of church and worship.  Really and truly, the mindset should be my money and my comfort and my life are small prices to pay right now to worship Jesus. He’s worth it.

In an act of boldness and courage that should shame any pastor who shut down, and be a balm to the soul of those fellow men who resisted, he told the court this in response to the fines and being chastised for his keeping his church open:

Your Honour, our consciences have been bound to continue ministering as our Lord has taught us and as Christians have done for millennia. Our Lord has taught us to gather for worship at least one day in seven, and that has been the consistent pattern of Christians since the Day of Pentecost. Our greatest sorrow in these contempt findings is not the penalties we have incurred but rather that we defied the orders of this court to uphold the orders of our Creator. We would much rather live in a world where the government and this honorable court provide orders that are in line with the orders of our Lord Jesus.

Jesus purchased us by His own blood. Our sincerely held belief is that we are thus beholden to Him because He owns us and the church. We do not view ourselves as owners of the church. Much rather we are stewards. The One who owns the church—the church not being the building, but the people and their worship—He has entrusted her to us. Therefore, first and foremost we are required to submit to and uphold His supreme Headship over the church and His worship. In these two infractions, we have sought to honour our Saviour.

Our sincere desire is to avoid further penalties and offence, but our consciences have captivated us to obey God over man.

Praise God for this church, pastor, elders, and congregation for their model of faithfulness.

If you would like to help cover the costs, and have already given to your local church, please visit the Go Fund Me page. If you would like to make a larger contribution to their legal fund, you can donate to the church (click here and select legal fund),

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15 thoughts on “Canadian Pastor and Elder Team Ordered by Court to Pay $85,000 In New Fines for Defying Lockdown

  1. We are entering the time when Christians will have no choice but to defy the government and powers that be, more and more. Whether it’s impositions and overreach using disease as a pretext, taxpayer funded abortion, forced support and affirmation of abominable sin, or any number of other things.

    It’s all been foretold. Better get right with your Maker folks. The birth pangs are getting closer and more severe. It’s coming.

      1. Go away, Johnny. Your obvious lack of intelligence isn’t suited for an adult forum. Even 3rd graders know how to use punctuation.
        [insert tiny flags here denoting that I am not a pervert nor mentally ill]

      2. Real Christians know. We are getting very close to the foretold times. We know the scripture, and we know civil disobedience will be our only option. We know that’s what the Bible tells us to do. And we know, ultimately the saints will be killed.

        The Bible is very clear. When the choice is either obey God or obey the government, we obey God – no matter what. And we know that the result of that may be that we are put to death, like the prophets of old (Isaiah being sawn in half alive), like Jesus, like many of the disciples, like many of the early church. All put to death because they defied, or drew the ire of, the governmental powers.

        Give me the unavoidable choice rather I will anger the government or anger God Almighty. Guess which one I’ll choose.

        People like you, Johnny, will be the ones yelling “kill them!” But you still have a chance to get right with your Maker. God is not slack concerning his promise. He is not willing that any should perish. He’s waiting on you.

      3. Have to say it’s ironic that you would use that particular slur, considering the fact that you would be the one with innocent blood on your hands. Funding and supporting the slaughter of the unborn. Funding and supporting the indoctrination and mutilation of children. Etc.

        But our hands would be clean.

        Who’s the terrorist?

    1. Johnny boy, if you really are a Christian as you claim (which I highly doubt), and you know scripture, then you should know that one of these days you may have to defy the government, lest you take the mark and spend eternity in Hell. I’m sure before all is said and done Christians will be called much worse.

      Your choice bud. Risk being called bad names, or spend eternity in Hell. Submit to the government, or submit to God, when the choice is unfortunately exclusive, by no fault of our own. It’s a no-brainer if you ask me, but then again you leftist partisan loons never have had much in the way of brains.

  2. I feel sad that these christians cannot find a better way to gather together than break the law. There are better ways and nothing is being proven here. Please cite the scriptures where christians are supposed to gather once a week. Other than Hebrews I have not seen scriptural commands dictating this practice

      It really it’s the hard, dummies. Love your neighbors and stand with 🇺🇸🇮🇱🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

      1. Johnny, that is not the Biblical definition of “love.” When it’s God’s command, you must use God’s definition.

        Beyond that, your line of reasoning is extremely flawed. By your “logic,” you should quit driving because someone might, possibly, by some remote chance, die as a result of a possible accident.

        Better yet, you should just beg your worldly masters to lock you into a padded room so everybody else will be safe. Why not do that, rather than try to enslave everyone else to your authoritarian dictates (which is neither love nor respect). Don’t be a hypocrite.

        Oh ye of little faith. So little faith, and so much hysterical fear of straw-men, you support an abomination. You’d be wise to fear God instead.

      2. And I would remind you that “love thy neighbor as thyself” is the second commandment, which is “like unto” – is dependent upon and flows from – the first and great commandment (Matt. 22:38), which is: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”

        Without the first, there is no second.

        What you’re doing is skipping the important bits, jumping to “love thy neighbor” while injecting a secular worldly definition of “love”

        God’s definition of love does not abide wickedness. It “thinketh no evil” (1 Cor. 13:5). It “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6) – and again, you must use God’s definition of what is evil, what is iniquity, and what is truth

    2. These churches have been meeting “against the law” for a year and a half, and nobody has caught COVID as a result of attending church, much less died from it.

      That much is proven.

      Worse, yet, is this notion of pre-emptive enforcement of “law” before any crime or harm has occurred, based solely on someone’s hysterical fear of what might possibly happen. The ends of such a “guilty till proven innocent” (or worse yet “guilty even if proven innocent” approach are 100% totalitarian.

  3. Our church Calvary Chapel of Chino Hills (Pastor Jack Hibbs) has held services for all 10,000 of us for the last 18 months during covid and no one got covid. The plandemic didn’t work on us only the brainwashed and gullible that believe whatever the gubbermint tells them.

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