Rick Warren opens newest Saddleback campus in San Diego

Rick Warren is seen in a screen capture from a video where he delivers a sermon at Saddleback Church | Youtube/Saddleback Church

Saddleback Church Senior Pastor Rick Warren just opened the newest campus of the megachurch in San Diego last Sunday. The San Diego community will now be able to hear inspiring messages of hope and take part in Sadddleback Worship every week without driving to other cities.

"Saddleback San Diego is one we've been wanting to do for a long time," said Warren. "We have members who drive every week from San Diego to our other campuses, but there's no reason for that in the future, because we're starting Saddleback San Diego," he added.

The new campus will also be offering services such as food pantry, Celebrate Recovery and other support groups and events.

Warren revealed that the campus will be led by Pastor Jeff Gonzales, who has previously served as a volunteer in Saddleback San Clemente, Christian News Wire reported.

"We've been waiting for the right pastor, and I'm happy to say that Jeff Gonzalez is coming back on our staff to become the new campus pastor at Saddleback San Diego."

Gonzalez, a former marine, also served as a pastor while he was deployed in Afghanistan. He said that the newest campus is a prayer come true for the San Diego community.

"The launch of this Saddleback church family will provide an epicenter of hope and resources for our San Diego community," Gonzalez added.

The church in San Diego is the 17th Saddleback Church campus, including four international campuses. It is located at Canyon Crest Academy, 5951 Village Center Loop Road. The services will be held on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Rick Warren just performed the 45,000th baptism of Saddleback Church earlier this month. He personally baptized 600 people over the weekend. The ministry celebrated its 35th ministry last year and it was named the top megachurch in the U.S. in a list of 50 churches compiled by Newsmax.

Warren has been dubbed as the "evangelical pope" due to his popularity and influence. He even delivered the keynote address when Pope Francis visited the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.