LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Grace Community Church in Sun Valley announced Friday (Feb. 12) it would postpone an annual three-day ministry conference after Los Angeles County public health officials expressed concerns about its potential to spread COVID-19.

The Shepherds’ Conference, scheduled for March 3-5, had scheduled more than 30 speakers to address audiences of hundreds of pastors and academics from Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state. The Rev. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, said in a promotional video that the conference would be “polemical” and “passionate” as “we endeavor to reclaim true evangelicalism.”

But in Friday posts on Facebook and Twitter, the church said that California and L.A. County threatened action to stop the event, “we have decided that the most prudent course

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