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How Two California Megachurches Kept Worshiping

John MacArthur takes a stand against regulations, while Greg Laurie finds creative ways to comply.
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How Two California Megachurches Kept Worshiping
Image: Edits by Mallory Rentsch / Source Image: Courtesy of Grace Community Church / Harvest Christian Fellowship Photo by Nicole Shanks

Two California churches were so eager to meet last weekend that when their services began, worshipers erupted in applause.

In Sun Valley, congregants filling Grace Community Church’s 3,500-seat sanctuary rose and cheered, some documenting the moment with their iPhones, when pastor John MacArthur opened the second week in a row of in-person services.

MacArthur—who has taken an outspoken stand against churches yielding to government regulations on worship gatherings—said this Sunday was “a very special day for a more abundant joy” since the congregation was together in person once again.

The Grace to You preacher received so much attention for his stance—from the elders’ viral post on the church’s website to a segment on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program—that the church added an additional 1,000 chairs outdoors yesterday. Prior to the pandemic, attendance at the church’s three services averaged around 8,000 combined. On Sunday, ...

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