Fairview Baptist Church in southeast Calgary ordered closed by Alberta Health Services

One day after a southeast Calgary pastor was arrested for holding a service deemed an illegal gathering, Alberta Health Services has ordered the church closed.

The notice of closure for the Fairview Baptist Church was posted by Alberta Health Services on Monday. On Sunday, pastor Tim Stephens was arrested.

Officials say the Sunday gathering did not comply with public health orders requiring masking, physical distancing, and attendance limits.

The gathering also went against a Court of Queen’s Bench order granting Alberta Health Services (AHS) an injunction against public gatherings that do not comply with public health orders, police say.

“There were between 100 and 150 people observed leaving the church at the conclusion of the service on May 16,” read the AHS report.

“The pastor and church attendees were observed unmasked as they were leaving the church. The church attendees were not maintaining at least two meters physical distance from other households when exiting the building.”

Police say they did not enter the church during the service on Sunday.

The church, located at 230 78th Avenue S.E. is to remain closed until Stephens can demonstrate that gatherings can be held while adhering to health rules. 

Stephens was the fourth religious leader in Alberta to be arrested for organizing gatherings which broke public health restrictions.

Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski were arrested by CPS last week, and James Coates of GraceLife Church outside Edmonton was arrested in February.

Farivew Baptist Church has previously been found to be in violation of the Public Health Act on numerous occasions, with tickets and fines being issued.

Read the AHS order below:

 

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