Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church in Alberta, Canada has been arrested on new charges for refusing to enforce state-imposed restrictions and limitations on worship services.
Rebel News reporter Adam Soos was at Pastor Stephens’ house when Calgary Police officers arrived and informed the pastor that he was being arrested for conducting a worship service on June 6 in violation of health restrictions.
The devastating and highly emotional video captured Pastor Stephens’ young children in tears as he was taken away from their family home and placed into the back of the police car.
“Goodbye, Daddy,” Pastor Stephens’ young children cried as they held his hand through the vehicle’s barred window.
Just hours before, Pastor Stephens took to Twitter, saying he had received a tip that police were planning the arrest.
“I just got a tip that the police may be on their way to arrest me. Why? I continue to lead our church to worship Jesus as Lord over every earthly power,” the pastor tweeted.
Adding, “More to come… Pray brothers and sisters. Stand firm, keep the faith.”
I just got a tip that the police may be on their way to arrest me. Why? I continue to lead our church to worship Jesus as Lord over every earthly power.— Tim Stephens (@tim__stephens) June 14, 2021
More to come… Pray brothers and sisters. Stand firm, keep the faith.
On June 5, Alberta Health Services physically closed the church, saying it would prevent access to the building until Pastor Stephens could “demonstrate the ability to comply with restrictions.”
The church, however, continued to gather for the next two weeks in underground worship.
In a statement following the June 5 seizure of the church, Pastor Stephens accused the authorities of hypocrisy by violating fundamental freedoms just days after senior government officials were captured violating health restrictions.
“In the same week where our most senior government officials were photographed flouting health orders, AHS continues to try and force us to comply with orders that violate the command of our Lord and undermine the fundamental freedoms afforded to all Canadians,” Pastor Stephens said.
“Fines, injunctions, imprisonment, and seizure of property will only demonstrate the folly of their actions and bring glory to Christ.”
“They can take the building but they cannot take the church,” he added.
This is the second time Pastor Stephens has been arrested, however, prior charges were dropped after it was discovered that Alberta Health Services failed to serve Pastor Stephens with the court order he was accused of violating, a requirement under the order, according to Rebel News.
Pastor Stephens had previously appeared in a joint-video production urging fellow ministers to “stand up, defend,” and “open your church.”
“I just don’t think pastors realize how hurting so many people are, and so many Christians,” Pastor Stephens said at the time. “They’re lost, and they don’t have shepherds and they don’t have brothers and sisters they’re able to come together with.”