Coronado Church Preaches in the Language of Music and Humor

Neil Young’s “When God Made Me” will highlight Sunday’s sermon at Coronado Community Church. Both locals and visitors are encouraged to attend this Sunday at 10 a.m.

The Coronado Community Church will celebrate their 22nd year with a special program involving music, a baptism and an invitation to visitors and locals to come experience one of the most progressive churches on the island.

The sermon, presented by Reverend Stephen J. Mather is titled, “A Voyage Over 20,000 Fathoms.” The service represents a combination of old and new, with traditional liturgy and hymns mixed with contemporary themes and music.

To celebrate the occasion, the Coronado Community Church Choir will be performing Neil Young’s “When God Made Me.” The choir is 15-20 people strong.


Choir director Andrew Hamilton has been singing and leading choirs since he was six. Several choir members sing in major choirs throughout the region – the La Jolla Symphony Chorus, Masterworks Chorale and the San Diego Opera.

Reverend Stephen J. Mather, of the Coronado Community Church. Photo by Joe Ditler.

“When God Made Me” will be a solo by Matt Roehl, a well-known local baritone. Matt will accompany himself on guitar, backed by the Coronado Community Church Choir with Sharon Axelson on the piano. The choir will also be singing “Day by Day,” from Godspell, performed with guitar and piano and sung by soprano Marsha Banks.

The Reverend Steve Mather has a magical way of keeping his congregation both enlightened and entertained all at the same time. He is no stranger to Coronado. His late father was Lee Mather, the iconic realtor.

It is not unusual for Mather to work some of our town’s history into his sermons. At times he laments, “Oh how I long to be back in that quiet little village of Coronado, pre-1969.” The congregation, many of whom are older residents of the community, get that.

The Reverend Mather was blessed early on with a sense of humor. He keeps a smile on his congregation’s face. Frequently his sermons are filled with metaphors relating to TV shows or movies, while taking his parishioners on spiritually rewarding voyages aboard his little boat of faith; sails filled with the prevailing winds of the Holy Spirit.

Reverend Stephen J. Mather, of the Coronado Community Church, has often been likened to comedian Gary Shandling, both in looks and humor. His dead pan is strictly Shandling. His message is Gospel you won’t soon forget. Photo by Joe Ditler.

Church services begin promptly at 10 a.m. this coming Sunday. Seating is open and partially in-the-round to allow the minister to physically carry his message from the pulpit into the audience.

Street parking is available. Additional parking can be found on the Coronado Elementary School Playground.

The Coronado Community Church meets every Sunday in Village Hall at the Coronado Village Elementary School (645 H Avenue). For more information visit or call (619) 437-6827.

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Joe Ditler is a professional writer, publicist and Coronado historian. Formerly a writer with the Los Angeles Times, he has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Europe. He also owns Part-Time PR (a subsidiary of Schooner or Later Promotions), specializing in helping Coronado businesses reach larger audiences with well-placed public relations throughout the greater San Diego County. He writes obituaries and living-obituaries under the cover "Coronado Storyteller." To find out more, write or call, or (619) 435-0767.