Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Awaken Church Pushes Back Against County, Vowing ‘Political Ramifications’

Awaken Church Balboa Campus in Kearny Mesa on Dec. 2, 2020.

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: Awaken Church Balboa Campus in Kearny Mesa on Dec. 2, 2020.

Awaken Church on Thursday continues to defy cease-and-desist orders by holding indoor services.

Since Saturday, San Diego County has issued health advisories about three Awaken Church locations including Kearny Mesa, San Marcos and Chula Vista.

Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

The church did not respond to KPBS’ requests for comment. But in an Instagram post on Wednesday, its executive of ministries Matt Hubbard promised to push back.

“There is gonna be political ramifications and you’re picking a fight.,” Hubbard said. “You’re picking a fight, and that’s called bullies. And we’re not gonna be bullied.”

As of Thursday, the three church outbreaks constitute 65 COVID-19 cases.

The county asked those who attended in-person services from Nov. 15 - 22 to either get tested or quarantined for 14 days, depending on which location they attended.

RELATED: Some Faith Leaders Defiant, Others Transparent Over COVID-19 Outbreaks

In an email to KPBS, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said:

“If a business continues to operate in violation of the cease and desist order, the following could occur: A Deputy Sheriff or police officer (cities with police departments) may issue a citation for Government Code 8665. This is a written notice to appear in court for the violation.”

The Sheriff's Department later said another outcome could be:

“A Deputy Sheriff or police officer (cities with police departments) may submit a case to the District Attorney for review. The District Attorney will review the facts of the case/violation and determine if the case should be issued and prosecuted or handled under civil or other provisions of the law.”

Rev. Shane Harris held a press conference today to call on Awaken Church Pastor Jurgen Matthesius to cease indoor church services.

“I first want to say to you Pastor Mattesius, what you’re doing is immoral. You’re putting your people at risk,” Harris said.

On Thursday, some houses of worship in California won at least a momentary victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices directed a lower court to reconsider Harvest Rock Church's challenge to Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on indoor services.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Jacob Aere

Jacob Aere
Freelance Reporter and Web Producer

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a freelance reporter. In addition to covering the latest news and issues relevant to San Diego, I seek the overlooked voices of our community to tell their stories.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.