By: Konrad Holden
Canadian Pastor Tim Stephens was arrested a second time last Monday for continuing to hold worship services. After police used a helicopter to find the outdoor gathering last Sunday, law enforcement arrived at the gathering and watched from inside their vehicles without interrupting. The next day, Calgary Police arrested Pastor Stephens at his home in front of his wife and sobbing children.
Canadian Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church was arrested a second time on June 14th after allegedly violating a court order.
On Sunday, June 13, Pastor Stephens led his congregation in an outdoor public gathering. Calgary police dispatched a helicopter to find the congregation and collect evidence of Stephens’ non-compliance with the court injunction. After discovering the gathering, more police showed up at the scene to observe.
The next day, officers showed up at Pastor Stephens’ home to arrest him in front of his wife and children.
While arresting Pastor Stephens, one officer began to argue with him, saying, “Even God said, you know, ‘Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,’ right? So we’re not getting into this philosophical debate.”
When Stephens reminded the officer that the gathering of the church does not belong to Caesar (that is, the government), the officer agreed, saying, “No, it’s not.”
After a few more moments of discussion, and a short family prayer with his wife and eight children, Stephens quietly walked down his driveway towards the patrol car.
As his father climbed into the vehicle, one of the younger children could be heard crying “bye, daddy!” as tears streamed down his face.
Stephens will have a trial on June 28th.
“It’s very satisfying to arrest the leaders of these congregations.” - Calgary Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra
“What must it be like to be one of those officers? What must it be like to have totally lost heart, totally lost compassion, and do just like they did during the Nuremberg trials, where one after another one came and said, ‘I just did my job, I just did my job’? It’s awful, it’s just awful. But may God use this to wake up more people. God help us.” - Canadian Pastor Henry Hildebrandt