PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — A Placer County megachurch that’s disobeyed state coronavirus prevention guidelines by holding services inside has now launched a “Placer Freedom Business Directory” and a “Placer Freedom Fund” for small businesses faced with economic hardship by the statewide shutdown.
Destiny Christian Church created the directory and fund. So far, 170 businesses have registered. Some are following the state guidelines. Some are very clearly not.
House of Oliver is registered on the Placer Freedom Directory.
“We have not closed,” House of Oliver owner Matthew Oliver said.
Oliver is outspoken in his belief it is his right to continue operating no matter what the governor’s guidelines say.
“The biggest struggle we’ve had has been mental, anxiety, fear, concern,” Oliver said.
A sign outside the front door reads “face masks are not required” and “if this makes you feel uncomfortable than this is not the place for you.”
“So we’ve been labeled the ‘rebel’ restaurant because we continue to stand for freedom,” Oliver said.
Destiny Christian Church Pastor Greg Fairington announced on the church’s Facebook page its new online business directory placerfreedom.com and a “freedom fund” aimed at helping local businesses like House of Oliver’s survive during the shutdown.
“To kind of help them kind of get through a little bit,” Pastor Fairington said.
For Destiny Christian Church, supporting state covid guideline defiance is practicing what they’ve preached. They continued to hold indoor services during the shutdown.
The Placer County Health Department issued a statement in response to the launch of the “freedom fund” reading, “…we will continue to stress the importance of safety precautions like masks, distancing and conducting activities outdoors. Concerns can be routed through our 211 system…”
The Placer Health Department has not enforced any of the guidelines.
“Not one time have we received a written violation, not one time have we received a written citation, not one time have we received a fine,” Oliver said.
Even with no citations, businesses in Placer County defying covid restrictions can now turn to Destiny Christian Church to help fund what they call their freedom.
Destiny Christian Church’s most recent post on social media said they’d raised $20,000 to help businesses through the “freedom fund.”
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