North Valley Baptist Church of Santa Ana was fined $10,000 last Friday for holding worship services indoors. The church held both a morning and evening service in which singing occurred, directly disobeying Governor Newsom's mandates against indoor services.
Despite reports of North Valley practicing social distancing during worship, the county ruled the service "unlawful," and demanded that the church "immediately cease" activities or face "enforcement action by the county."
Senior Pastor of North Valley Baptist Jack Trieber took offense from these citations, calling them "out of bounds," and declaring that the county has "overstepped." In a video posted to facebook, Trieber implores that the church "good neighbors." Trieber said that the church had been closed down previously to comply with the mandates passed by Newsom, but that they had reopened once they were no longer in a "hotspot."
Trieber also stated in his video, "For 24 weeks, we have tried to obey authority... You can't have any law against assembling in God's house. None. I know we have a Constitutional right to worship, but we have a Higher Power that we answer to. I have a biblical mandate."
Churches across the state have been faced with similar issues regarding closure orders, but are outraged that the Governor can allow and encourage mass protests but not worship. Trieber stated that he is "willing to take a stand" against this injustice, and concluded that "yes, let's be safe. Let's be careful. But this area needs the church."