Trinity Bible Chapel held online services on Sunday after weeks of meeting for in-person services. Their parking lot, normally packed, was empty.
The church's doors were locked this past week after a temporary injunction was granted to the Attorney General by the superior court. The matter will be revisited in the coming week, as the church wants to have parts of their building reopened for "good works" they do throughout the week.
"They took our building because they think that will stop us from worshipping," said Pastor Jacob Reaume in a blog post. "For twenty years our church has worshipped together each Lord’s Day, and we’ve only met in our own building for eleven months. So the best part of our history we have not owned a building. We managed just fine to gather together without our own building, and now we don’t have our own building again. The early church met in the catacombs under Rome. The Covenanters met in fields. John Bunyan led his services in forests. Churches find ways to worship together, as surely as water flows downhill."
The blog post also mentions that the church is facing a combined over $40 million in fines and jail time.
During capacity restrictions, churches have been encouraged to meet online. Many local churches have taken that approach for the majority of the pandemic.
A local locksmith is also receiving backlash online in the form of "review-bombing" after the doors were locked. G&A Lock & Security in Waterloo saw 14 one-star reviews within a 12-hour span on Saturday night, with those reviews criticizing their actions and morals.
That wasn't the end of the story, however. Many users have come to the defence of the business, adding five-star reviews to combat the poor reviews.
Our building is now completely locked up and we are unable to use it to even record a sermon. An online service will be posted at some point tomorrow once we have had a chance to record a message. We will post it here and to our online service page as soon as it's available.— Trinity Bible Chapel (@TBCWR) May 2, 2021