A fundraiser for GraceLife Church Pastor James Coates has surpassed $41,000 the day after he was released from jail.
The fundraiser, posted on GoFundMe in early February, has well exceeded its initial goal as the story of Pastor Coates’ arrest made headlines around the world.
“Pastor James Coates has been a rare and refreshing voice of courage in these unprecedented times. He has stood on the word of God faithfully, courageously and uncompromisingly as a man of God when all around him men falter and fail,” wrote the GoFundMe creator.
“Pastor James is facing what not too long ago would have been unheard of.”
Pastor Coates was arrested in February after he repeatedly held church services that violated Alberta’s Public Health Order, specifically the strict 15% capacity limit for religious services.
Last week it was announced that Pastor Coates would be released after Alberta prosecutors dropped most of the charges laid against him. On Monday, Pastor Coates was released from the Edmonton Remand Centre.
Pastor Coates is still facing one charge of violating the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s order. Trial is scheduled for May 3.
The creator of the GoFundMe has stated that if there is any extra money left after legal expenses are paid it will go to GraceLife Church and Pastor Coates’ ministry.
The creator, who has no personal connection to Pastor Coates, wants the public to express support for him and the church in any way they can.
“Consider also supporting Pastor Coates and his family by peacefully making your voices heard wherever and however you can and by praying for them and by imploring your pastors/ministers to stand in support of Pastor Coates and his family and his church and make their voices heard.”