‘We Have a Right … to Assemble and Worship': An Organizer of Beach Church Protest

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A sea of more than 1,200 worshippers that defied a public health order during a worship service at Cardiff State Beach Sunday has caught the eye and anger of San Diego Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten.

Sean Feucht was the frontman behind Sunday’s revival-like Let Us Worship event.

Though coy about calling them protests, when asked who’s the man behind the protests, the Northern California musician and worship leader responded, “I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody, and that's Jesus. "

From Bakersfield to Fresno, across California and even in other states, Feucht -- who was a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District this year up near Sacramento but lost in the primary -- has been holding these musical praise sessions since church members aren't allowed to worship inside.

Many in the crowd that packed the Cardiff beach on Sunday were not wearing masks or physical distancing.

"It really does contribute to others, having the potential of others being affected,” Dr. Wooten said at the county coronavirus briefing on Monday. “We will continue to address this egregious violation as we have others brought to our attention."

Flyers for the Let Us Worship events do encourage the wearing of masks and physical distancing, but Feucht said that worshippers make their own decisions.

“I would say, obviously that's not our heart,” Feucht said regarding Wooten’s statement. “If you're going to target one gathering of the church, singing peacefully at the beach, then let's see that same treatment every single day as people protest across California."

An estimated 1,250 worshippers gathered at Cardiff State Beach for a protest.

And while Feucht said there’s no desire to be rebellious, state lifeguards told NBC 7 that organizers didn't file for a permit.

“We have a right just as much to assemble and worship, and it’s foundational in the constitution," Feucht said. "You know, we're exercising that right freely, and we're really, really thankful and grateful to be able to do that in this amazing country.”

Church services are allowed to be held outdoors, but, according to the public health order, people have to follow physical distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

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