…How it all began
Pastor Joh.W. Matutis started the Berlin church work on the 3rd Sept 1988 with absolutely nothing. Before then, he had preached for 3 weeks on the streets in the city centre (then it was still West Berlin, and the city was divided by a wall), until he held the first church service in the “Hochschule der Künste”. After different stops in between, in the different parts of Berlin, (Berlin-Friedenau / Niedstr.), Berlin-Kreuzberg (Friedrichstr.) and then in Berlin-Wedding (Neue Nazarethkirche), the church settled at its present location, am Leopoldplatz (Nazarethkirchestr. 51), 14 years later. In the mean time, the church residence has become a comfortable place and a strong evangelism and missions centre by reason of the personal sacrifices and commitment of individuals.
The “Freie Nazarethkirche” (Free Nazareth Church) is a free, independent church, with a pentecostal-charismatic background. We are now located in the centre of Berlin, only about 4 miles away from the German Parliament. We work together with every born again Christian.
We call ourselves the „Free Nazareth Church“, because quite closely located with us, are 2 old Evangelic-Lutheran churches, also called Nazareth Churches. The street in which our church is located is also called „Nazarethkirchstrasse“ (Nazareth Church Street), being that Jesus himself spent many years in Nazareth, in Galilee, where he lived out his faith and practiced God’s love.
….on Pastor Matutis
Pastor Joh.W.Matutis was born in Lithuania (former Soviet Union) in 1948. He is married to Heidemie, born Kersten... They have 4 children, and 10 grandchildren.
Pastor Matutis was active in the Jesus people movement of the 70s. He has founded coffeehouse ministries, organised Jesus Marches, open air church services, tent meetings,etc. ministered to drug addicts, drop outs, and led Christian home communes.
Many young people have been able to find a more meaningful way of life through his help. Many of these young people are themselves presently either in the missionfields worldwide or working in God’s kingdom in other areas.
Pastor Matutis studied in Switzerland, began his ministry in Stuttgart, built up a church work there, and then shepherded an independent church in Heilbronn (Southern Germany) for another 10 years, after which he moved to Berlin in May 1988 with his “Action Jericho” mission. “Action Jericho” because at the time of the then DDR, Berlin was like an island in the „red sea“, surrounded by communism.
The TAZ, a large nationwide Berlin newspaper, not at all Christian inclined, wrote on the 6th Sept 1988, in large format, “Pastor Matutis has an incredible intention in Jesus’ name”. Thus had he previously prophesied: “Just as the children of Israel broke down the walls of Jericho, so will these walls (of Berlin) fall……… which eventually took place on the 9th November 1989.
On the 10th Nov. 1989, the Holy Spirit spoke though him during a thanksgiving service thus:The days are coming when we have to explain to our children where the walls stood………This also came to pass.
Today, one really must explain to his / her guests where the walls once stood. The Berlin Senate had to order the marking of the streets throughout the city from North to South, with the words “here once stood the Berlin wall”.
On the 3rd September 1988, he started the church work in Berlin with the provocative name “Action Jericho”, and the equally provocative words “Berlin neither belongs to the Russians, the Americans, the French nor the British, Berlin belongs to Jesus”.
On his lecture tours throughout Europe, he has spoken in various Christian churches, fellowships and interdenominational groups. By organising concerts, conferences, seminars, tours and evangelism in the whole of Germany, he has reached many with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Soon after the historical turn around in Germany and fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 he preached and carried out evangelism in 11 big cities in the then DDR, and in some cases, founded churches. Apart from that, he has gathered around 200 tonnes in aid, for people in need, and transported them to the then commonwealth of independent states, Romania, ex-Yugoslavia amongst others.
In 1974, he smuggled bibles and Christian materials for the first time to Eastern Europe. Later on, he rode with his courier up to 28 times yearly with bibles into Eastern Europe.
He committed himself to helping persecuted Christians, and helped secure their release from the communist prisons (like in Pavel I. in Bulgaria) thanks to the publicity in the West.
In the BRD, he also committed himself constantly to helping the underprivilegedfor e.g., in cases of citizens harassed due to the arbitrariness of the authorities, violation of child custody rights of a helpless, single mother, unfairrepatriation methods of the German States, Soviet runaways from the army etc.
After the fall of the Berlin wall and reunification of the German states, the Federal Government gave him 2 Polly-Klinken (Hospitals), a dozen tents, and soup kitchen, with about 500 feeding units. These he set up in St. Petersburg, with the help of the THW (German Federal Agency for Technical Relief) and the Senate of Wedding, and handed over to the Christians and pastors there, together with 60big trucks previously owned by the NVA (National Army of the former DDR), whichhe made available to the churches of the then eastern block (Romania, Russia, Ukraine etc., there by helping them.
He further helped the Christians over there to help themselves by supporting them in building furniture workshops, leather tailoring workshops, printing presses(local newspaper presses) amongst others.
Despite these humanitarian services, he still takes time to perform his spiritual duties.
Recently, he was in India for 30 days, where he preached about 150 times in all the big cities of India, like Dehli, Patna, Kalkutta, Vishapatan, Heydarabad, Mardas, Kochin, Bangalore, Bombay etc. Especially also in thebig city slums, in open air events, predominantly in Hindu areas, as well as inlarge halls, and church houses.
In Pakistan, (a Moslem country), he spoke in Lahore, alone in a single church servicein a stadium to more than 13 000 people. Signs and wonders accompanied hisministry. (Check ont his Homepage under Special: “Missions report”)
He however continued to build on his church work here in Berlin, inviting splendid speakers andartists from within and outside the country. Ever since the opening of the border, more than 1000 Romanian refugees have passed through his ministry.
He has committed himself strongly to helping the foreigners and the refugees here. He conducts special services for Romanians, Africans, and the Chinese amongstothers.
....In the church
Every weekend, people who come to our church are blessed through the practical, realistic messages and they receive new impulse for their faith.
We operate missions within and outside Germany, build churches, help those in need, support orphans, send aid to conflict areas etc.
Besides concerts and divers special events, our regular church services are for us themost important.
“For faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”, and the word you can find inour church services of the Freie Nazareth Kirche every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Moreover we alsohave special services for children, youths, singles, men, women, etc, as wellas seminars, concerts, film evenings and special events.
We want to build God’s work in and around Berlin, in a way that is informal, freeand bible oriented.
Many open healings take place in ourservices.
Here are clipsand testimonies from the church service cassette recordings:
* The church has experienced the healing of a paraplegic from Bosnia resulting from bullet wounds; howfeeling returned to his paralysed legs, and he stood up from his wheel chair,and stepped into the car all by himself.
* I was released from hospital with 3 inoperable tumours in my spinal chord, and left with only a few weeks to live. I had not expected my youth to go this way. I was prayed with in the bible class, and the Lord healed me. The X-rays confirmed the complete disappearance of all 3 tumours. I want to therefore dedicate my life to the service of the Lord, so I will be going to bible school this autumn.
* After the prayers for healing, I felt a wonder some warmth pass through mybody, and the doctor has now confirmed it: My prostate cancer is gone.
* I had Hepatitis C, known to be terminal. I let them pray with me. By the next checkup, the doctor said “ you have a brand new liver, with which you can live even for 100 years”.