South Bay church moves services outdoors after racking up $112K in COVID-19 fines

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Bay Area church racks up $112K in fines for defying COVID-19 rules
A Santa Clara Co. church that held indoor services, against repeated warnings from officials, racked up $112K in COVID-19 fines. The pastor of North Valley Baptist announced he will no longer fight the county and has since moved his services outdoors.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Pastor Jack Trieber of the 3,000-seat North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara has announced that he will no longer fight Santa Clara County, and will hold services in the church parking lot until health officials give the green light.

He made that announcement two days after Dan Noyes' I-Team report revealed he had racked up more than $100k in fines for defying state and local COVID-19 guidelines by holding in-person, indoors services.

I-TEAM REPORT: South Bay church holds indoor services as COVID-19 fines reach $100K, criminal charge possible

Fines are mounting against a Santa Clara Co. church that is holding in-person, indoor services, against repeated warnings from officials. Neighbors were concerned about the potential spread of COVID-19 so I-Team reporter Dan Noyes went to North Valley Baptist to investigate.

The county told Dan Noyes on Tuesday that the fines have risen to $112,000, and that there are no plans to forgive the fines. But, the county's enforcement action is over, now that the church is complying.

Trieber told his congregation that he had senators contact him, saying they had provided President Trump with the pastor's personal cell phone number, asking if he would take a call from the White House. He said he did not pursue connecting with the president because he chose to obey the county's directives.

RELATED: Some East Bay churches threaten to reopen despite Gov. Newsom's stay-at-home order

Trieber also claimed he was prepared to unleash a flood of one million emails from supporters to local government offices, but decided against that avenue.

In the outdoor sermon Wednesday evening, he told the congregation sitting in their cars, "I don't wish anything evil to happen with authorities."

"Tonight was the right decision to move out here."

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Take a look at more stories by Dan Noyes and the ABC7 News I-Team.

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