Springs of Hope Grief-Care Center Co-Founder and Pastor Juanita Matthews Named 2022 Woman of the Year for the 33rd Senate District

Sacramento, Calif. – Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) has named Springs of Hope Grief-Care Center Co-Founder and Pastor Juanita Matthews, a Long Beach resident, as the 2022 Woman of the Year for the 33rd Senate District.

“Juanita is an inspiring and giving leader with great passion and dedication to her community,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “I commend Juanita for her selfless acts of kindness offering personal support to friends, neighbors and families through loss and for advocating to build a more just and equitable future.”  

Juanita suffered a great loss 40 years ago when her nephew Ron Settles passed away. Mr. Settles was a California State Long Beach star student-athlete who was stopped and arrested by the Signal Hill Police Department in 1981, and later died while in police custody.

In May of 1992 she received the devastating news that her oldest son and his three children were senselessly murdered on Mother's Day. After years of walking through her own painful journey of grief, she found a way to direct her energies to help others—turning pain into purpose. Juanita and her husband (now deceased) co-founded Springs of Hope Grief-Care Center in 2009 with the goal of "mending the brokenhearted".

Juanita is an Assistant Pastor at Prevailing in Christ Ministries in Carson. For the past twenty years, Pastor Juanita has served through preaching, teaching, music ministry, counseling, conducting workshops, seminars, conferences, and pastoral care ministry.

Today, Juanita continues to promote healing and hope in Signal Hill and the greater community, while highlighting how we can learn and grow as a community to tackle social injustice and systemic racism. Juanita is a shining light of hope and optimism, and her belief in who we can be as a community has not wavered despite her personal losses. She is a joyful, warm woman who welcomes all into her circle, and her commitment to doing her part to making our world a better place is truly inspiring.

Juanita attended Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, Grace Theological Institute, California State University, Long Beach, Southern California Community Bible College, and Long Beach Bible College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies.