Samuel Deuth, a member of the pastoral team at Awaken Church in San Diego spoke at the County Board of Supervisors meeting this week and blasted lockdowns and mandates while vowing to “never close” church doors again.
Deuth explained that Awaken Church has five locations representing over 10,000 people in the community and told the board that people “do not consent to what is going on.”
“As a pastor, we were one of the churches, one of the few churches that remained open. Obviously, many of you know that because you were engaged with our team quite extensively. We remained open. Here’s why we did it,” he began, explaining that the churches were initially closed because details about the Chinese coronavirus remained so uncertain in the early days of the pandemic.
“Once we realized this was not a health issue, this was a control issue, we stayed open, we remained open, and we will never close again. We will never stop having services. Here’s why,” he said.
“We are open because we love people. Because we care about people,” he began:
And every single Sunday that we were open, especially in that beginning time, every single week at every campus without fail, we had someone say, “I was about to commit suicide because of everything going on. I was desperate. I was at the end of my rope. I searched and said God please let there be somewhere I can go. Please let there be a church,” and we were the only ones opened.
They came, and because of that, their life, and their generation after them is spared because we stayed open, and we love people.
“I encourage you and I challenge you— do not lock down. Do not force masks. Do not force vaccines. We the people want to remain free,” the pastor said to applause:
We do not consent with the lockdowns and forced vaccines of @SupFletcher.
Rise up pastors and Americans and stand for constitutional rights!
— Samuel Deuth (@samueldeuth) August 18, 2021
Awaken Church made headlines last year after it remained open despite a coronavirus outbreak at its Kearny, Mesa location, as well as two other locations. Health officials subsequently suggested those who attended the service to quarantine for two weeks and get tested.
“Everyone at your location should continue to take steps to prevent COVID-19. Anyone who develops any related symptoms should immediately isolate themselves and consult a medical provider,” the county said in a letter sent to the church at the time.
The church released a statement following the reports, vowing to “continue to provide the safest in-person & online services.”
The church also came under fire after holding Christmas services despite criticisms. It remains unclear how many coronavirus fatalities, if any at all, are connected to the church’s operations.
Several community members delivered powerful speeches during the board meeting, including a registered nurse who revealed she quit her job over the state’s mandate requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated.
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