In another show of defiance, Independent MPP Randy Hillier has attended an in-person service at Waterloo’s Trinity Bible Chapel. The service took place on January 24th, 2021, after Waterloo Bible Chapel advertised the service on its website. The church itself is facing scrutiny as the service is prohibited under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). The service was also broadcasted live on its website.
The public invitation from the church criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic.“We have been impeded by our government from fully discharging our duties for ten months now, almost one-third of the time Christ spent publicly ministering to the crowds and to His disciples.” Pastor Jacob Reaum said. “ I contend that that is far too long. I further contend that our government’s timeline and our government’s objectives in this effort can no longer be trusted.”
The public invitation was supported by Independent MPP Randy Hillier. “Looking forward to attending Church this Sunday at 9AM in Waterloo for in-person service at @TBCWR. We are happy to accept this invitation and hope many others will join us,” wrote Hillier on Twitter.
While at the service, Pastor Reaum thanked MPP Randy for being more “vocally supportive.” “Our Christ has taught us to honour those in authority, so I do honour the MPP of Lanarck-Frontenac-Kingston Randy Hillier who has decided to join us this morning,” said Reaume. “Randy has been more vocally supportive of our desire to gather as a church than majority of the pastors in Ontario.” Dozens of cars could be seen at the church on Sunday.
In response to the service, Waterloo Regional Police acknowledged the gathering and reiterated that it was a prohibited gathering. “We are aware of the church service that was held earlier today at Trinity Bible Chapel,” said Waterloo Regional Police. “This service was held despite a Superior Court Order compelling the Chapel to comply with The Reopening Ontario Act.”
Currently, six members of the church’s leadership are facing charges for violating the Reopening Ontario Act on a previous date. “This is the second week in a row that all elders have been charged. Last time members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service delivered our summonses to us at our homes, but this time they were delivered by regional by-law officers.” Pastor Reaum said in a statement. If found guilty, each person found guilty carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and one year of jail. The church can be fined up to $10,000,000 if found guilty.
According to the Waterloo Bible Chapel, they have retained legal counsel from Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). The JCCF is also representing MPP Randy Hillier after he was charged for hosting an anti-lockdown rally on Queen’s Park. A gofundme has also been established and has raised $20,000 for the church’s legal defense.