Tim Stephens, the latest Canadian pastor to be arrested in Calgary, Alberta, was released from jail Thursday after being arrested for leading outdoor church services.
The Fairview Baptist Church pastor was arrested after police in a helicopter discovered where Stephens was holding worship services. Soon thereafter, law enforcement officers showed up at Stephens’ home and arrested him as his onlooking children cried.
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Initially, Stephens was slated to remain behind bars at the Calgary Remand Centre until at least July 12, but plans changed when the court order under which the minister had been arrested was rescinded July 1.
Alberta has lifted most of its pandemic restrictions as it moves into “Stage 3” of its mandates, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Rebel News, a conservative outlet based in Canada, filmed Stephens’ release.
“Today is a very thankful day,” the pastor told Rebel News. “I’m thankful that the restrictions are done and rescinded, including the court orders that go along with that.”
Stephens went on to express gratitude for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is representing him.
“[M]ost of all, I’m thankful for God,” he said. “I’m thankful that He’s built His church, that He’s sustained our church at Fairview Baptist Church. I’m thankful that He strengthened me, my wife, and our family, and that, through this, people have come to know the saving love of the Lord Jesus Christ. People have been strengthened in this country and around the world, and so, for these many reasons, I’m thankful.”
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