Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church has preached at the funeral of one of Calgary’s police officers a year after he was arrested for conducting worship services in violation of Alberta’s health orders.
Police arrested Pastor Stephens at his home last June and offered him bail on the condition that he abide by all public health orders.
Pastor Stephens refused to agree to the stipulated conditions, as doing so would prevent him from caring for the church that has been entrusted to him, his wife Raquel said at the time.
During the ordeal, Pastor Stephens met the officer whose funeral he preached at last week.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Pastor Stephens said:
“It was an honor to preach the gospel at the funeral of one of Calgary’s police officers who began attending our church last year. It was his request to have me preach the gospel to hundreds of officers at his funeral,” he said.
“May they know this forgiveness, hope, and joy of Jesus.
“I preached from John 5 where Jesus speaks of his authority to give life and to judge. We were reminded that we will all stand before Jesus to give an account.
Pastor Stephens continued: “Now is the time to make peace with the great Lord or lords and King of kings through repentance and faith in his name.
“I expressed to the members of Calgary Police Service that I honor their work (they are God’s servants according to Romans 13) and that it is my desire that they follow Christ Jesus.
“My prayer is that the gospel seed sown will bear much fruit among the members of CPS.
“I’m thankful that I met Jason as a result of our church’s stand during COVID lockdowns and for his desire to serve Christ in life and death. May God answer his prayer that his life, tragic suffering, and death would lead many to turn to Christ.”