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Harvest Rock Church ‘Wins’ Lawsuit: Restrictions on Houses of Worship Banned, State Must Reimburse Church Legal Fees

Published on Monday, May 17, 2021 | 2:59 pm

A settlement reached by a local church and Gov. Gavin Newsom allows an injunction against COVID-19 restrictions on churches.

Harvest Rock Church has been battling in court for an injunction against Gov. Gavin Newsom since summer.

Under the settlement, California may no longer impose discriminatory restrictions upon houses of worship. The governor must also pay $1,350,000 to reimburse attorney’s fees and costs.

“Although Defendant continues to dispute Plaintiffs’ claims, Defendant as well as Plaintiffs wish to resolve this matter now and hereby consent to entry of judgment in favor of Plaintiffs, and to entry of a permanent injunction and order of dismissal,” according to a court document.

Newsom lifted restrictions on churches last month on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

“Location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory, but are strongly recommended,” according to guidance issued on April 13.

The guidance also said the changes were “in response to recent judicial rulings, effective immediately.”

Days earlier the Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot enforce restrictions on at-home Bible studies.

In the 5-4 ruling, the conservative judges sided against the restrictions while Chief John Roberts sided with the three liberal justices.

“California’s Blueprint System contains myriad exceptions and accommodations for comparable activities, thus requiring the application of strict scrutiny,” the order reads. “And historically, strict scrutiny requires the State to further ‘interests of the highest order’ by means ‘narrowly tailored in pursuit of those interests.’”

In late March, lawyers for the Pasadena church once again filed for an emergency injunction by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth District against the restrictions.

That filing came after a judge asked for information about the guidelines, but declined to lift them.

“Plaintiffs have scratched and clawed for lasting relief for 259 days, and this Court should issue an injunction pending appeal against the Governor’s continued imposition of discriminatory restrictions on religious worship services while exempting myriad secular gatherings from any restrictions whatsoever and permitting other nonreligious gatherings and industries to meet with more favorable capacity restrictions than those imposed on Appellants’ religious worship services,” states a brief filed on April 2.

On a 6-3 vote in February, the Supreme Court cited the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion and ruled that the church could open its doors to 200 members in the orange tier, but regulations upheld prohibitions against singing and chanting.

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10 thoughts on “Harvest Rock Church ‘Wins’ Lawsuit: Restrictions on Houses of Worship Banned, State Must Reimburse Church Legal Fees

  • Thank You for standing strong and being of great courage! You are a mighty man of God.
    Judges 6:34… “then the Spirit of The Lord God Jehovah took possession of him”
    Psalm 57:2 I will cry to God my Most High, who performs on my behalf..!
    I watched you on Victory KCM FLASHPOINT! 05/19/2021.
    Amazing battle, Amazing victory.

  • God bless pastor Che and peer who brought about this lawsuit and as he stated much donated hours of time of attorneys and workers to present this case. Pastor Che called the religious prophets his heroes. I too feel like this and he is right there next to them . God bless God’s warriors.

  • Why is “wins” in quotes? There is no question about whether the church won or not. All other news articles on the topic include “wins” without the quotes. Is this a news article or an opinion piece?

  • H-Rock did this for political reasons. They are part of a fringe-movement that says they are “Christian ” but the messages are in direct opposition to what Christ taught. They think they have to bring the “Kingdom of God” to earth by literally taking it over. This is something they teach from the pulpit as part of the “7 Mountain Mandate” (which was a false-message given by one of their prophets that they praise). In keeping with this they think they have to takeover the government. Some members even think Jesus is held in heaven until this happens, others flat out believe they will be inflicting judgement upon those who are not part of their group in their weird “end times” version of Revelation. Its super weird and wacky. I think they did this to gain notoriety from the ruling and for other churches to “praise” them for their supposed “courage.”

    Even if you thought the restrictions were a bit too much – this is out there in coo-coo bananatowns. H-Rock brings in a ton of money by basically extorting members and telling them to give or be cursed by God. They also are told to “submit” to their leaders and not to question anything. It’s really cult-level. The leaders also claim to be channeling “holy spirit” – not THE Holy Spirit. They claim extravagant visions from heaven or things like “portals” opening and closing and other nonsense not found in the Bible. It is really scary that people think they are normal or just “another church” or “brave.”

  • “the church could open its doors to 200 members in the orange tier, but regulations upheld prohibitions against singing and chanting.” – That is false.

  • I had no idea the governor of California had practically banned Christians and Jews meeting in homes.

    When government attempts to justify invading the privacy and sanctuary of home, it’s time to preach JESUS on the street.

    Psalm 37

  • It said wins because at the time the judges ruled in favor of the church, the restrictions had already been lifted. They won something that had already been lifted.

  • Pastor Che, I do give you Honor through the Power of God for making a Powerful Stand for California, and all over our Country and World. You and your family and Church will be BLESSED beyond belief. We need so many more Pastors and Men of God like you all around the World. You are a remarkable Man. And Thank you so much for Standing up for us and everyone Worldwide. Thanks. ?