(MSN) – To hear Pastor John MacArthur tell it, all Grace Community Church did was open its doors and the people came, like the animals to Noah's Ark.
The megachurch in suburban Los Angeles had closed its doors in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. It announced plans to re-open in May, but a federal court upheld the state's ban on indoor services. The church reopened in late July.
"People started slowly coming back," MacArthur told CNN on Tuesday, "and they just kept coming until there were six or seven thousand."
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That's several thousand more people than California allows at indoor worship services. According to an order issued July 29, houses of worship in Los Angeles County must limit indoor gatherings to 100 people or 25% of the building's capacity, whichever is lower.