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James Coates: Pastor of GraceLife Church Jailed for Refusing to Comply With COVID-19 Mandates

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Alyssa Choiniere

Updated Feb 18, 2021

James Coates is the pastor of GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Canada who was jailed for refusing to comply with COVID-19 mandates issued by Alberta Health Services. The preacher is in custody following a series of health department inspections and requests to comply with coronavirus regulations.

Coates is represented by an attorney with The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, James Kitchen, who said in a statement the arrest is a violation of Coates’ rights. The church suspended in-person gatherings in the spring and returned in June. GraceLife has a congregation of about 400 people.

Kitchen told CTV News Coates is willing to stay behind bars to do the “right thing.”

Here’s what you need to know:




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  • 1 month later...

BREAKING: Police raid and put up fences around Alberta church that defied lockdown orders

The church first made headlines last month after their pastor, James Coates, was jailed for violating lockdown orders on Mar 5.

Apr. 7 2021


GraceLife Church, the Alberta church which made headlines for defying provincial pandemic-related lockdown orders, is being blocked off by police using roadblocks and fencing to prevent worshippers from reaching the building.

The church first made headlines last month after their pastor, James Coates, was jailed for violating lockdown orders on Mar 5. He was held for weeks before his release on Mar 22, but still faces an upcoming trial.

Sources familiar with the situation say that the premises was raided in the early morning.


Police and security are putting up a fence around Gracelife! Please pray for wisdom as our elders navigate this new development!


8:40 AM · Apr 7, 2021


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[b/Local Reverend calls out GraceLife Church, asks why AHS delayed in acting[/b]


"Mainstream Church"


Reviews from Trip Adviser

Coffee in church?!

I was more than impressed discover a coffee bar in a church! The richness of the architecture, the history of the building, combined with comfortable seating and several flavours of coffee and tea made a wonderful surprise in the afternoon.

A welcoming, spiritual place, full of culture

This is very much a church that is part of life in Calgary. They are host to many cultural events, like organ music festivals, choir concerts, etc. The acoustics are amazing. The church does a lot in the community, including supporting youth. I was downtown for the Pride Parade, and they had the doors open, and welcomed me in. Gorgeous place. Must get there more often!

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Apr. 13 2021

Sheila Gunn Reid was at GraceLife Church near Edmonton, Alberta where a large group of protesters assembled. Some in the crowd ripped down the fencing that blocked off the church, which prompted an even larger police response. Many in the crowd, however, saw these actions as the wrong choice, fearing that any violent act would only hinder the cause.

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