Grace Community Church in Sun Valley is set to host an indoor conference that is expected to draw at least 3,000 people from across the country, despite L.A. County public health orders.
The church's pastor, John MacArthur, has preached for months that the pandemic is overhyped, even while two older men who attended the Shepherds' Conference last year died due to complications from COVID-19.
The conference organizers have not commented on the protocols they will have in place to protect attendees from the virus at this year's Shepherds' Conference.
"The county is very concerned about the public health impacts of this event, especially as we continue to see the devastating impact of the recent surge, including high case numbers and high numbers of our residents sick in the hospital," said public health officials.
Upon registering, each attendee signed a liability waiver that stated: "I understand that each activity poses inherent risks of exposure to and/or contracting the COVID-19 virus" and that "masks have limited capability as far as prevention of infection from contracting COVID-19."
According to the waiver, masks will not be required at the conference, although attendees will be "encouraged" to wear them. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided at the conference.
"It's going to be polemical, it's going to be passionate, it's going to be practical, as we endeavor to reclaim true evangelicalism," MacArthur said. "I want to encourage you, that this is going to be a conference of monumental significance."