Meet Pastors Jurgen and Leanne Matthesius

Senior Pastors


Thank you so much for checking us out online and seeing what our church has to offer. The catalyst for our passion and vision in San Diego is God. Period. We know that He has a huge plan for your life and we would love to help you in that journey.

Take a moment to find out more about us, see where we’ve been, and where we’re going…


Born in Germany, Jurgen grew up in Sydney, Australia with his parents and brother. As a student in primary and high school, Jurgen was always entertaining his fellow classmates, getting into trouble, and solidifying himself as the class clown. Sports came quite easy to Jurgen and as a teenager he picked up surfing and seemed destined for greatness in the surf community.

At the age of 17 he was invited to a surf event put on by Christian Surfers where he met God, got saved, and had his life changed forever. With a growing passion for God, Jurgen enrolled at Hillsong Bible College where he attended for 2 years. After finishing college, he left beautiful Sydney to move to South Auckland, New Zealand to help start a Hillsong church plant. Wanna know more… read the rest of the story below.


Leanne was born in a small town on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. She was the fourth of five girls and was bought up in a rural farming community by two very loving, Christian parents. Her grandfather was actually the mayor of the town and her family ran one of the diary farms in the community. She made her own decision for Christ at a J. John rally held at a basketball stadium in Wollongong and was fired up for God from that time forward. 

In 1989, she met Jurgen at a Church of Christ in Wollongong and was immediately smitten by this ruggedly handsome surfer with a passion for God. They dated for three years before getting married and moving to New Zealand to be a part of a Hillsong church plant. What happened next? read the rest of the story below.


Jurgen and Leanne met in Sydney, Australia when Jurgen was serving as youth pastor for the church Leanne attended. After Jurgen went to Hillsong College, he moved to New Zealand as part of a Hillsong church plant. After six months of running the youth ministry at South City Christian Life Centre, Jurgen traveled back to Australia to marry his sweetheart Leanne!! After their wedding and some tearful goodbye’s to family and friends, Jurgen and Leanne traveled back to NZ to resume pastoring the youth at South City Christian Life Centre. 

During the seven years they were in New Zealand, Jurgen and Leanne had a profound and long lasting impact on the city of Auckland especially amongst its youth. Jurgen had become a popular speaker in colleges and high schools and had grown and developed the youth ministry at South City CLC to make it one of the largest in the nation at that time. They had also welcomed their first two “kiwi” sons Jordan and Ashley. In the summer of 1998 Jurgen and Leanne felt a strong call from God to move back to Australia. They sold their home and packed up their boys and belongings and planted themselves in one of Australia’s most incredible churches, C3 Church Oxford Falls. 

Under the amazing leadership of Pastors Phil & Chris Pringle they were appointed as youth pastors. In the fall of 2001 they welcomed Tommy, their third son and presumably their third and final child! In the seven years they were part of the team at C3 Oxford Falls Jurgen and Leanne grew the youth ministry to over 750 strong and pioneered the hugely successful Phenomena youth conference that hosted over 3000 delegates from Australia, New Zealand, and around the world.

In the fall of 2004, Pastor Phil approached Jurgen and Leanne about starting a church in San Diego, California. Having never even been to San Diego, they both were hesitant about moving but it didn’t take long before God confirmed the move. In the summer of 2005, Jurgen and Leanne and their three boys packed up all their belongings and moved to San Diego. On August 20th, 2005, C3 San Diego had it’s first service and an attendance of 50 people. In 2008, after many years of wanting a girl to add to the family, Jurgen and Leanne welcomed beautiful baby Zoe into the Matthesius clan. In 2011 the first permanent C3 San Diego location was built in the Carlsbad area of San Diego which is about 30 minutes north of downtown. Then in the Summer of 2013, construction was completed on the new Central Campus located in the Clairemont/Kearny Mesa area of central San Diego. With the journey in San Diego just starting, Jurgen and Leanne are confident in knowing that these days are only the beginnings of the amazing things that God wants to do in San Diego!