Investigation reveals controversial San Jose church received $340K in PPP funds

Photo Credit: calvarysj.org
By Wesley Severson - Published on February 19, 2021.

Calvary Chapel in San Jose owes more than $2 million dollars in fines for openly defying the ban on indoor gatherings imposed for months by Santa Clara County.

As Hoodline previously reported, Calvary Pastor Mike McClure had been held in contempt multiple times for continuing to hold indoor worship services that are attended by hundreds of people each Sunday. And the county has recently grown more frustrated by McClure’s actions after an investigation by NBC Bay Area revealed the church has received $340,400 dollars from the US Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The forgivable loan is part of the Cares Act, a covid relief package passed last year to help small businesses and organizations stay afloat during the pandemic.

Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams reacted to the investigation by saying “It’s disappointing that on one hand, [Calvary Chapel] would choose to willfully put people’s safety at risk in this time of crisis in our community, and on the other hand, [seek] taxpayer support for their operation.”

NBC Bay Area asked McClure to react to their investigation while he was holding a rally at the Santa Clara County Courthouse on the day of one of his court hearings.

"I don’t want to take that money. That’s your money, my money, our grandkids’ money. I don’t agree with that. But at the same time, I’ve got to pay all of our employees. And it’s not the church that took it, it was our school,” said McClure.

Calvary Chapel was just one of almost five thousand California religious organizations to get money from the PPP program.

At least three other religious entities in the Bay Area have also gotten tens of thousands of dollars from the SBA.

According to NBC Bay Area, the Archdiocese of San Francisco received $1,876,500, St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco received $320,405, and Spring Hills Community Church in Santa Rosa accepted $186,300.

Hoodline recently reported that Santa Clara County remains the only county in the state not allowing indoor worship services, even after the Supreme Court ruled that churches did have the right to hold services indoors with limited capacity and without singing or chanting.

As for McClure and Calvary Chapel, they have not paid any of their county fines and their court battle wages on.

Feb 26, 2021
San Jose

Spate of shootings draw attention to underground clubs, speakeasies in San Jose

A spate of shootings in San Jose has shined a spotlight on underground clubs and speakeasies allegedly taking place at area businesses, including one that recently sold an $18 million lottery ticket. Read More

Feb 25, 2021
San Jose

New fees, capacity limits, and name change for newly public Palo Alto park

After decades of being strictly accessible to only people with a Palo Alto address, the 1,440-acre park is now open to the public. Since its opening in late December, the park’s popularity has soared among hikers and sightseers across the Bay Area. Read More

Feb 23, 2021
San Jose

Black Muslim Food Week delivers special offers at Black-owned eateries, with a side of community organizing

This weekend, the Bay Area Halal Foodies group is celebrating Black History Month with an event spotlighting Black Muslim-owned restaurants in the area. Read More

Feb 23, 2021
San Jose

Large, new affordable housing complex could be built on old San Jose restaurant site

Bay Area developer Jemcor Development Partners is looking at the site of shuttered South San Jose restaurant The Fish Market as its location for a large new housing project that would be 100% affordable. Read More