Canadian pastor whose Easter confrontation with police went viral arrested after holding church service

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Charges loom (again) after latest Aylmer Church of God service: Police
Author of the article:Free Press staff
Publishing date:May 10, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • 49 Comments
MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Randy Hillier greets fellow church goers prior to entering the Church of God for Sunday service in Aylmer. Photo taken Sunday May 9, 2021. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Randy Hillier greets fellow church goers prior to entering the Church of God for Sunday service in Aylmer. Photo taken Sunday May 9, 2021. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
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Charges are looming following yet another service at Aylmer’s Church of God over the weekend, the town’s police say.

Officers monitored the Sunday service at the John Street church, which was attended by “a large number of participants” in violation of provincial rules to slow the spread of COVID-19, Aylmer police said.

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“Charges against the organization and two directors who organized and actively participated in the service are pending,” police said.

The charges are the latest against the Aylmer church and its leaders, including Pastor Henry Hildebrandt.

Both Hildebrandt and his church have been flashpoints of the anti-lockdown movement in Ontario since the start of the pandemic.

Most recently, a local judge ruled Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, his assistant pastor and the corporation were in contempt over their Sunday service on April 25, though the judge didn’t order the church to be shut down.

Aylmer police have also laid charges in recent weeks against independent MPP Randy Hillier and independent MP Derek Sloan for their participation in the services under the Ontario Reopening Act. Hillier could be seen Sunday welcoming churchgoers.

Under the existing rules, which are in place until at least May 20, religious services are capped at 10 people.

People enter the Church of God for Sunday service in Aylmer on Sunday May 9, 2021. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
People enter the Church of God for Sunday service in Aylmer on Sunday May 9, 2021. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
 

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Q+A: Aylmer police chief on 'escalating tension' with Church of God
Author of the article:Jonathan Juha
Publishing date:May 11, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 4 minute read • 20 Comments
The Aylmer Church of God held a service indoors against Covid-19 restrictions on Sunday May 2, 2021. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network
The Aylmer Church of God held a service indoors against Covid-19 restrictions on Sunday May 2, 2021. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network
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Police have once again laid charges against Aylmer’s Church of God after it held yet another lockdown-defying Sunday service – and a judge may come down hard later this week on the church and Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, having already found him in contempt of the laws aimed at slowing COVID-19’s spread. With that looming, Free Press reporter Jonathan Juha spoke with Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat about what the situation has meant for his small police department, his approach to the impasse and what’s to come:

Q: Let’s start by talking about the approach you and Aylmer police have taken so far when dealing with the Church of God.


A: Initially what we did was to take an educational approach and certainly an approach that was the least intrusive for pretty much all businesses and local church groups . . . making sure people understand what the rules are. Now we’re beyond the educational component of it. Now our main focus is enforcement simply because there’s been no co-operation at all to abide by the current emergency orders.

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Q: After more than a year of this situation, how are you feeling about having to dedicate so much energy and resources to a single issue? Are you frustrated?

A: From our perspective, that is our job: To enforce the orders. Unfortunately, this particular group continues to defy the order and we have to dedicate the resources to ensure the public’s safety.

Q: The education approach didn’t work and it seems clear the threat of fines isn’t working either. Have Aylmer police run out of options?

A: We are working with the provincial attorney general’s office – I’m not going to get into the specifics of our investigative tactics at this point – but it’s certainly not a situation where it’s kind of a status quo. We are looking at other options to basically make that group conform to the current emergency orders.

Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat
Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat
Q: Recently the courts found Pastor Henry Hildebrandt in contempt but the judge didn’t go as far as ordering the church closed. Do you think the province or the courts should do more?

A: Our police service respects the decisions handed down by the courts, and we follow those directions from the court; there’s a follow-up session, which is going to be a follow-up to the previous hearing, and we are just going to wait and see what happens at that particular hearing but we certainly respect the decisions of the judicial process.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Randy Hillier greets fellow church goers prior to entering the Church of God for Sunday service in Aylmer. Photo taken Sunday May 9, 2021. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
Charges loom (again) after latest Aylmer Church of God service: Police
The Church of God, in Aylmer, shown in this April 2020 photo. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
More charges laid in connection with Aylmer Church of God service
Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, right, preaches Sunday at a drive-in service at the Church of God in Aylmer. Hildebrandt said church members were staying in their vehicles as a goodwill gesture to the provincial government. The Ministry of the Attorney General obtained an interim court order Friday night requiring the church to comply with emergency laws limiting indoor and outdoor religious services to a maximum of 10 people. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
Aylmer Church of God backs down from indoor service amid court order
The Church of God in Aylmer, Ont. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)
Four charged after gathering at Aylmer's Church of God: Police
Police at the Church of God in Aylmer. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press file photo)
More charges expected after 'large' Sunday service at Aylmer church

Q: This situation has caused tempers to flare repeatedly already. Are you concerned that, if this isn’t resolved soon, things could escalate? Are you concerned about the safety of your officers?

A: I’m certainly concerned about the officers’ safety and the public safety in general. I mean, on the 25th of April we had three serious incidents where two individuals who were part of the congregation interfered with officers’ duties and one gentleman was charged with assaulting a reporter (from the Aylmer Express newspaper). Those tensions are escalating and that is always a concern. Obviously, we don’t want to see anybody get hurt and, certainly, it is a concern for me and my officers.

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Q: Leaders and members of the church claim the current provincial laws are an attack on their religious and individual freedoms. Do you have any sympathy for their position?

A: I absolutely do not. There are certain things that governments take a position on for the betterment of the community and the safety of the community and, in actual fact, they are not prohibited from having service, so it’s not a total shutdown of religious services. These are restrictions in terms of the number of people (for in-person service) based on expert opinion during this pandemic. They are allowed to do a drive-in service where they can worship and pray . . . so I’m not sympathetic at all toward their cause. It’s more defiance than anything else.

Q: Is there a final message you would like to send to the public?

A: There’s a lot behind the scene and the public needs to understand that we’re not just sitting idle and observing what’s happening. We are working cooperatively with different groups and all I ask is for the general public to be patient and wait for the outcome. I would also like to thank the community for being responsible and obeying the current rules; 99.9 per cent of the people that live in Aylmer do that and I’m certainly proud of that.

jjuha@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JuhaatLFPress
 

spaminator

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Congregants flock to Aylmer's Church of God as crucial court hearing starts
Author of the article:Jane Sims
Publishing date:May 13, 2021 • 7 hours ago • 6 minute read • 9 Comments
Church of God Pastor, Henry Hildebrandt, arrives at the Aylmer church Thursday morning, where he was joined by dozens of congregants, just as a nearby court was deliberating whether its doors should be looked due to flagrant defiance of Ontario's laws against indoor gatherings amid COVID-19. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
Church of God Pastor, Henry Hildebrandt, arrives at the Aylmer church Thursday morning, where he was joined by dozens of congregants, just as a nearby court was deliberating whether its doors should be looked due to flagrant defiance of Ontario's laws against indoor gatherings amid COVID-19. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
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The “toxic environment in Aylmer,” created as a provocative preacher and his congregation defy public-health orders during the pandemic, is weighing heavily on the judge deciding how to punish the church.

“This whole situation has turned a small community in Southwestern Ontario into a cauldron of hostility, one neighbour against another, and I am deeply concerned about how that’s happened,” said Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas, who last month found the Church of God (Restoration) in Aylmer, Pastor Henry Hildebrandt and an assistant pastor in contempt of Ontario’s emergency COVID-19 orders.


“My fervent hope is that somehow we can get things back to normal, if I can put it that way, or pick up those pieces so they can return to the peaceful and quiet community they were at one time.”

Thomas’s comments came Thursday, near the end of a virtual court hearing over whether he should padlock the church and slap the corporation and its pastors with hefty fines of more than $100,000 for repeatedly flouting emergency public health restrictions by holding large indoor church services.

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While the judge was in one Elgin County community, St. Thomas, listening to arguments from the Crown and the church’s lawyer, dozens of Church of God congregants gathered Thursday in another Elgin County town, Aylmer, again defying the interim pandemic law.


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The judge will release his ruling Friday morning. But he signalled during Thursday’s hearing that he held no illusions about Hildebrandt’s motivation.

Lisa Bildy, the church’s lawyer, tried to portray Hildebrandt as a reluctant leader of the anti-regulation movement who was just searching for a way to keep his deeply religious community together while being persecuted by the media, the community, the police and government.

The judge wasn’t buying it. “He’s chosen to be the face, front and centre, to this movement,” Thomas said. “(The church has) positioned itself front and centre to lead civil disobedience in regard to the regulations.”

He added: “Pastor Hildebrandt understands how the press works and he understands that this kind of coverage gives him an ability to speak to others that might be following the movement he seeks to lead.”

Bildy replied that “sometimes leaders are made whether they choose to be or not,” adding: “While I don’t condone the violation of court orders, there needs to be a voice out there for constitutional freedoms. Pastor Hildebrandt accepted that role.”

With a provincewide shutdown order put in place last month as the pandemic’s third wave was cresting, churches were allowed to have indoor services, but with no more than 10 people.

Hildebrandt, assistant pastor Peter Wall and the church were found in contempt on April 30, five days after holding one of several recent large indoor church services at the John Street building. The church was also slapped with an interim order in February to stop it from having large services and to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act, the emergency law restricting indoor gatherings.

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Within 48 hours of being held in contempt, Hildebrandt filled the church on May 2, and again last Sunday, May 9.


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Crown counsel Connie Vernon told Thomas that over the past two Sundays, Aylmer police saw more than 200 people enter the building. During his sermons, Hildebrandt boasted that he would continue to defy the emergency orders, questioned the existence of the virus, calling the pandemic “a made-up thing,” and encouraged his followers not to comply with public health measures.

He also urged police to “plaster me” with tickets. The Free Press heard audio of Hildebrandt’s May 9 sermon, in which he said: “I have no idea what the court is going to say. But we are not giving up. We are going on.”

Vernon argued that the church corporation should be fined $100,000, while Hildebrandt and Wall each be fined $10,000. And she asked the church be locked up – and that it not be allowed to reopen even if capacity restrictions were eased, but only once all restrictions are lifted.

“This is the only way to stop them from holding services with hundreds of people in attendance,” she said.

Bildy, the defence lawyer, conceded the contempt convictions couldn’t be defended by a constitutional argument slated to be heard in October in St. Thomas involving the Church of God and two other churches challenging the pandemic restrictions.

But, she told Thomas, the government’s actions were in response to “an unprecedented, long-term experiment on the populace, one that does not have a clear exit strategy and one which has not yet been proven in court to be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

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Bildy went through a long history of church activities – often portraying the church as a victim. The church is a way of life for the traditional low-German-speaking congregation members who often met there three times a week, she said.

But Bildy said the community hasn’t been as kind. She portrayed the Aylmer police as “heavy-handed” and “toxic” while neighbours in Aylmer acted as “stalking informants” reporting every infraction. She told Thomas that a certain segment of the town tried to interrupt a service in December and Hildebrandt and church members have been subject to ongoing harassment.

What was being proposed in fines and lock-up, she said, was “draconian” and “outrageous.”

Meanwhile, Aylmer has been identified as a pandemic hotspot for illness, has been subject to outbreaks and was given enhanced access to vaccines.

Earlier this week the town’s police chief told The Free Press he has concerns for his officers’ safety amid “escalating” tensions with churchgoers. Late last month a man was charged with obstructing police at the church and another was charged criminally after charging at a journalist standing near the property.

This would not be the first time fines have been levied against a church defying court orders. In February, Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo Region and six elders were fined $38,000 and ordered to pay $45,000 in legal costs.

Thomas is expected to deliver his decision Friday.

With files from Free Press reporter Heather Rivers

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jsims@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JaneatLFPress

Pastor Henry Hildebrandt’s most recent service at Aylmer’s Church of God was just four days ago and LFP reporter Heather Rivers was able to hear audio of it. Here’s some of what Hildebrandt said:

ON THE COURTS:
“I have no idea what the court is going to say. But we are not giving up. We are going on.” Hildebrandt and an assistant pastor had recently been found in contempt for holding church services that breach Ontario laws designed to slow COVID-19 spread.

‘COUNTRY PREACHER’:
“(We have been) very complacent. We have taken it totally for granted that we don’t have to do anything about (sinful things); it will all be well. Meanwhile while we slept through all kinds of abortion (and people thought it’s) all good – that education is all good. There is all kinds of dirt into the education thing. I am sorry. I am just a plain country preacher but all this dirty stuff while we were sleeping – it isn’t (going to happen) anymore, that’s it.” The remark was greeted with loud applause from the congregation, who at times cheered for several minutes straight.

‘THANK YOU LIARS’
“I am sorry I have to say it like this but I don’t trust a single thing they are saying: Just two more weeks (of lockdown), just four more weeks, thank you liars, because I have no idea what you mean by that – other than you are tricking us. And you aren’t tricking us, you aren’t tricking us.”

‘THE SHEEP’:
Hildebrandt also talked about a “divorce” from those who “have nothing in mind but to hurt the sheep” – the meaning of the sheep reference was unclear, but he may have been referring positively to his own congregation. He then added: “The sheep are growing horns.”
 

Danbones

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Sep 23, 2015
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It's a fact lock downs kill more people than the china virus. But of course, the China virus likes Walmarts and HATES churches.
;)
Unless the Christians have a nice organ or two in their service that's near harvesting time.

FFS.
 

spaminator

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Judge orders Aylmer's defiant Church of God locked, fines pastors
Author of the article:Jane Sims
Publishing date:May 14, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 6 minute read • 74 Comments
Henry Hildebrandt, pastor of the Church of God in Aylmer, leaves the church after attending it for about two hours with dozens of congregation members on Thursday May 13, 2021. They were there as a judge in nearby St. Thomas began deliberating whether to padlock the church as it continues to hold Sunday services in breach of Ontario's laws that limit gatherings to slow COVID-19's spread. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
Henry Hildebrandt, pastor of the Church of God in Aylmer, leaves the church after attending it for about two hours with dozens of congregation members on Thursday May 13, 2021. They were there as a judge in nearby St. Thomas began deliberating whether to padlock the church as it continues to hold Sunday services in breach of Ontario's laws that limit gatherings to slow COVID-19's spread. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
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The doors of Aylmer’s scofflaw church have been ordered locked shut.

After weeks of flouting Ontario’s emergency public health laws by routinely exceeding indoor gathering limits, Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas had little choice Friday but to order the Elgin County sheriff to lock up the exterior doors of the controversial Church of God (Restoration).

“It could be argued that locking this church may not assist in the cessation of the contempt,” Thomas said in his decision. “But clearly this location has been the crucible of the contemptuous activity and to ignore that would simply be unacceptable.”

Thomas also levied nearly $120,000 in fines and penalties. They must be paid within 90 days:

$35,000: fine against the church corporation
$10,000: fine against Pastor Henry Hildebrandt
$3,000: fine against his assistant pastor, Peter Wall
$69,000: court costs, which must be paid by the church.
The church must stay locked until the province eases the indoor gathering limit to 30 per cent or more capacity, the judge ruled. Right now, the limit for churches is 10 people.



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The ultra-conservative church, Hildebrandt and Wall had been found guilty of civil contempt on April 30 for breaching an order made by Thomas in February that they abide by Ontario’s pandemic regulations.

It was days earlier, April 25, that the church held an indoor service that drew at least 100 people, in violation of a provincewide order capping indoor church services at 10 people. The judge at that time delayed ordering the church’s doors padlocked.

In addition to rule-breaking church services on April 7, 11 18 and 25, the judge said that on May 2 Aylmer police counted 166 people entering the church and, on May 9, 202 people entering.

Thomas said Hildebrandt, who seems to revel in the media spotlight on his civil disobedience, was ramping up his anti-restriction efforts. The judge quoted some of the recent sermons, livestreamed online, in which Hildebrandt called COVID-19 a hoax.

He quoted Hildebrandt saying of fines: “We aren’t stopping, we’re going on. Our eyes are on the goal and our goal is forward, upward, onward, upwards.”

The pastor, the judge added, is responsible for what’s occurred. He “has the spiritual control over his congregation that would allow the breaching conduct to stop if he chose to do so.”

What the judge didn’t repeat Friday were comments he made Thursday, the first day of the two-day hearing, where he expressed concerns about “the cauldron of hostility” brewing in Aylmer between the church and the rest of the community, located east of St. Thomas.


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There are concerns of conflict between churchgoers, Aylmer police and the authorities who were expected to padlock the doors some time Friday. In comments broadcast online shortly after Friday’s ruling, Hildebrandt didn’t make clear whether he and the church would back down.

“I trust that this morning will be a real wake-up call,” he said, adding: “Nothing will deter us. Nothing will stop the people of God. Nothing can hold God back.”

Aylmer’s police chief, Zvonko Horvat, told The Free Press as of Friday afternoon “all indications” were that the process of locking the church would be peaceful.

Other churches have been involved in similar recent legal issues. Trinity Bible Church in Waterloo Region was ordered locked up and it, along with the Aylmer church and another in Welland, are launching a constitutional challenge of Ontario’s pandemic restrictions. It’ll be heard in St. Thomas, in October.

Until then, the judge said, the court has a duty to enforce the law.

Friday’s decision will likely draw plenty of public support, particularly in Aylmer – a town of 7,000 that’s been struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks so serious that it’s been declared a pandemic hotspot, all while the church makes it an epicentre of anti-lockdown defiance.

One resident, who spoke on Friday on condition her last name not be published for fear of retribution, said: “They (the Church of God) terrorized our town and gave it a bad name.”

As he handed down his ruling, the judge urged Hildebrandt to re-examine his role as church leader. “I am hopeful that once the restrictions are eased, Pastor Hildebrandt will see that his foremost responsibility is to his congregation.”

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With files from Free Press reporters Jonathan Juha and Heather Rivers

After Friday morning’s rulings, The Free Press has heard from both sides in Aylmer – Church of God Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, and police Chief Zvonko Horvat. Here’s some of what they said:

PASTOR HENRY HILDEBRANDT
“It is very sad to see a country that calls itself a Christian country would reach a level so low as what we are seeing this morning. This is the price you pay when you leave God,” he said in an online video. “Our forefathers were well aware, we must have God on our side. But our kings, our prime ministers, our premiers have forgotten.”

He added: “God has been forgotten and now we have to go through these things. Doors are locked, pastors are put in prison, all because of what the past has been. I trust that this morning will be a real wake-up call . . . nothing will deter us. Nothing will stop the people of God. Nothing can hold God back.”

Of politicians and authorities, he said: “They’re handling this backwards. Instead of us in Canada as innocent until proven guilty, now we are guilty until proven innocent. Our government is allowing unelected health officials to push our judges to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens.”

He repeatedly cited God: “This is not the end. This is the beginning of where things are going. We will stand, and stand firm. I have no ill feeling against anybody in this whole wide world – but God is my leader, God is on his throne, and God is right. . . . God will be glorified either way. I just choose to be on God’s side.”

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He made no explicit statement as to whether the church and its members would fight against the doors being locked.

AYLMER’S POLICE CHIEF
Aylmer’s police chief, Zvonko Horvat, spoke to The Free Press earlier this week about his concerns over “escalating” tensions around the Church of God. After Friday’s court ruling, he spoke again with LFP reporter Jonathan Juha:
“We respect the decisions of the courts, and we’ll follow the direction that the courts have given us,” he said. “We’re hoping to do that in the near future and get everybody moving back to the right direction.”

Asked about the possibility of more defiance from members of the church, he said: “All indications we have right now are that things are going to be done peacefully and that the church will respect the current orders.”

He added: “We’re looking forward to working with them to restore the trust and the positive things in the community and get away from this division.”

Earlier this week, Chief Horvat was clear about concerns over officer safety around the church. “Those tensions are escalating and that is always a concern. Obviously, we don’t want to see anybody get hurt and, certainly, it is a concern for me and my officers.”
ONE CITIZEN’S TAKE
A woman who asked to only be referred to as Donna Lynn – publishing her last name, she feared, may spark retaliation, expressed support for the judge’s ruling. “I’m glad they’re locking it down because they aren’t going to follow the rules.”

She added: “They terrorized our town and gave it a bad name. It’s a beautiful town and has always been a quiet town.”
 

spaminator

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Locked-out Church of God holds huge outdoor service, drawing 500
Author of the article:Jane Sims
Publishing date:May 17, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • 59 Comments
Rev. Henry Hildebrandt preaches on a stage set up outside the Aylmer Church of God, which was ordered locked up by a judge on Friday for flouting Ontario regulations that aim to slow COVID-19’s spread. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
Rev. Henry Hildebrandt preaches on a stage set up outside the Aylmer Church of God, which was ordered locked up by a judge on Friday for flouting Ontario regulations that aim to slow COVID-19’s spread. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)
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AYLMER — Members of a renegade Southwestern Ontario church, locked by authorities for persistent flouting of COVID-19 rules, still found a way to worship Sunday, holding an outdoor service with the largest crowd yet since they began to push back against public health measures.

An estimated 500 people attended the service of the Church of God (Restoration), whose building was ordered locked shut by a judge this week for breaching an interim order to follow Ontario’s COVID-19 emergency law, under which indoor services are now limited to no more than 10 people.


The large outdoor gathering — no masks, no social distancing — drew onlookers to see what would happen on the first Sunday since the defiant church and its leader, Pastor Henry Hildebrandt, were stiffly fined and the church shut down for thumbing their noses at the law designed to help curb the spread of the virus.

“So much for locking them out, eh?,” one motorist said to reporters as she drove past the property.

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The controversy involving the church has trained a harsh spotlight on small-town Aylmer, one that began early in the pandemic when churches were kept closed but the congregation began pushing back by holding drive-in services — also banned at the time, but later allowed — in their parking lot.

Rev. Henry Hildebrandt of the Aylmer Church of God invites his “burly men” onto a stage set up outside for their Sunday service. The church was locked up Friday for breaking COVID-19 rules. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
Rev. Henry Hildebrandt of the Aylmer Church of God invites his “burly men” onto a stage set up outside for their Sunday service. The church was locked up Friday for breaking COVID-19 rules. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
That escalated to large gatherings for indoor worship, after the law was eased to allow modest church attendance.

The provocative Hildebrandt, a frequent fixture at anti-lockdown rallies and protests in Southwestern Ontario, has insisted he’s bound to follow the laws of God, not the laws of man, as he and his congregation exercise their religious rights.

Ontario remains under an extended provincial shutdown and stay-at-home order, with indoor and outdoor public events and gatherings banned except for members of the same household. Outdoor church services, like those held indoors, are limited to 10 people.

“We’re facing behind me our locked doors that somebody thought they had the authority to lock,” Hildebrandt yelled.

Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas, who found the church and its leaders in contempt for violating the order to follow the law, had harsh words this week for the fallout in the Elgin County community of the church’s behaviour.

“This whole situation has turned a small community in Southwestern Ontario into a cauldron of hostility, one neighbour against another, and I am deeply concerned about how that’s happened,” said Thomas.

“My fervent hope is that somehow we can get things back to normal, if I can put it that way, or pick up those pieces so they can return to the peaceful and quiet community they were at one time.”
Hildebrandt vowed the congregation will return again next Sunday.

jsims@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JaneatLFPress
 

B00Mer

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Hope the crown has the common sense to do the same in Alberta..

Heavy fines and jail really isn't the Canadian way to treat "protestors" even if they are breaking health codes..

This COVID-19 crap has made everyone stupid..

I hope when everyone gets their shot of 5G things go back to normal
 
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Dixie Cup

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That crazy preacher doesn't look that stable.. dunno.. anything could snap!!
I dunno. I saw him in a video explaining what had transpired and I think the province, rather than being a bully, could have reached an agreement with this pastor. They could have compromised, at least in one circumstance. The parish assists street people and provides food, clothing and other assistance to those on the street. They were barred from helping which made them angry. This could have been resolved but no, the Province had to be a bully and shut it down. What is the province doing to help street people? Are they as efficient? Likely not. But no one else can help either which shows how arrogant some people are.

Church services, however, were another thing and he should have followed the protocol. Church services outside should have been allowed as long as people stayed in their cars. Don't know if that was an option tho'.

Still, can't help but think that a lot of this is simply for control by governments. If you have been vaccinated, there is little to no risk; if you have not, the only risk you provide is to yourself and others who are not so it's on them if they get sick. Obviously, if you are at risk, follow the protocols!! Too easy. I admit, there are those who are careless but I think for the most part that people will do what they will do for their own benefit and no amount of government bullying will change that!!
 

no color

Electoral Member
May 20, 2007
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When did Canada turn into a police state ? and why the overkill ?
I agree. Places of worship have traditionally been off limits to law enforcement. Police have no business whatsoever inside a church. Why do they not enter when an illegal immigrant is taking refuge there? Do Illegal aliens have more rights vs Canadian citizens practicing their faith? This is completely unacceptable.

The pastor has every right to ask that anyone who’s not a member of the church be arrested for trespassing if they enter the facility during services. No exceptions.

Last month, Artur Pawlowski was holding a service on Holy Saturday when several uniformed officers entered the building. In a video of the encounter shared to YouTube, the pastor can be heard shouting at the masked officers to leave.
 
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Renegade Aylmer church slapped with $66Gs in new fines, penalties
Author of the article:Jane Sims
Publishing date:May 31, 2021 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read • 56 Comments
Rev. Henry Hildebrandt preaches to a crowd police estimate at nearly 300 outside the Church of God in Aylmer on Sunday. Aylmer police say more charges are pending over the latest outdoor gathering, which breaches Ontario COVID-19 laws. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
Rev. Henry Hildebrandt preaches to a crowd police estimate at nearly 300 outside the Church of God in Aylmer on Sunday. Aylmer police say more charges are pending over the latest outdoor gathering, which breaches Ontario COVID-19 laws. Mike Hensen/The London Free Press
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Aylmer’s scofflaw Church of God and its pastors were slapped Monday with $66,000 in new fines and court costs over a large outdoor service held days after a local judge locked the church’s doors.

The church, in legal trouble over gatherings that have defied Ontario laws aiming to slow COVID-19’s spread, was ordered back to court Monday morning for holding a large Sunday service on May 16 – just two days after Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas ordered its doors locked to stop large indoor gatherings.


Outdoor gatherings are also limited to 10 people under Ontario’s pandemic laws. The church’s outdoor services have drawn hundreds, including the last two Sundays as well.

In April, Thomas had found the Church of God (Restoration), its flamboyant pastor Henry Hildebrandt, and associate pastor Peter Wall in contempt of a restraining order made by Thomas in February that aimed to stop the church from holding large, indoor, unmasked gatherings.

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On May 14, a Friday, the judge ordered the doors locked and set fines and court costs adding up to $117,000.

The May 16 Sunday service “breached the restraining order” and Hildebrandt “was clear in his message . . . that he would not be deterred by court order or the sanctions imposed,” Thomas said in his decision Monday.

Thomas said his reasons on May 14 for fining the church also applied to Monday’s decision, except “most of the mitigating factors have evaporated with the continued activity.”

Thomas said he didn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t impose more fines. He added that the defence argument that lots of people have been defying the orders and the church is being picked on “is more fitting for the school yard than it is for the courtroom.

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“There is a law, there is a court order, there are continued, brazen, self-promoting acts of breach,” Thomas said.

“The court has an obligation to react when called upon to do so,” he said. “It has been called upon here.”

Thomas said people in control of the church and primarily Hildebrandt “have worked hard to position themselves as the face of the resistance to (COVID rules). There are consequences that must flow from that.”

He added he hopes that the recent decline in cases reflect the uptick of vaccine use and proper public health behaviour by the majority of Ontarians.

“It is the hope of all of us, I am sure, that churches can be full again. But that is not now and this is not the time,” he said.

Monday, the church corporation was fined $35,000 – the same amount as was levied on May 14. Hildebrandt and Wall’s fines were doubled – another $20,000 for the pastor and another $6,000 for the assistant pastor. Another $5,000 was added on for court costs.

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Thomas said he would not restrict the church’s access to the court for an application to re-open. The Crown had sought to bar them from returning to court until the fines were paid.

jsims@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JaneatLFPress

FINES AGAINST CHURCH OF GOD (SO FAR)
May 31:

$66,000 in total:

$35,000 fine against the church corporation
$20,000 fine against against Pastor Henry Hildebrandt
$6,000 fine against assistant pastor Peter Wall
$5,000 in court costs
May 14:

$117,000 in total:

$35,000: fine against the church corporation
$10,000: fine against Pastor Henry Hildebrandt
$3,000: fine against his assistant pastor, Peter Wall
$69,000: court costs, which must be paid by the church.