The launch of Peoples Church Network, St. Louis and Cincinnati East
Peoples Church was founded in 1906 by a small group of believers who met at Fourth and John Street to seek God’s face. The church was first called Christian Catholic Apostolic Church. Their passion exploded in 1907 as member, Nancy Starret, brought back to the church the Pentecostal power from the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, California. As the teaching and experience of the Holy Spirit’s fullness found acceptance, the church officially renamed itself “Christian Assembly.” In 1933, the church joined the Assemblies of God fellowship and adopted the name First Christian Assembly of God (FCA).
The 1970’s ignited a new passion in the church through the Charismatic renewal as the doors of FCA were opened to a new generation. Healing and salvation took place in the lives of many as barriers of class and race were being removed. In 1973, lead pastor Clyde Miller had an important decision to make about the church's future. Would he move the church to the suburbs like many growing churches or keep it in the heart of the city? God’s answer was clear. FCA was to remain in the heart of the city. Seeing a future that many churches could not see, Pastor Miller led the congregation and board to remain at 220 William Howard Taft Rd. This decision has led to significant kingdom impact in the core of Cincinnati.
In the mid 90’s, associate pastor Chris Beard felt God calling him to develop relationships with key African American pastors and pastors from other denominations. The goal was to work towards unity in our city for future kingdom impact. This experience led him to realize just how divided the churches in our city really were, especially black and white.
In 2001, Chris Beard became FCA’s lead pastor. Rocked by an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer titled, “A City Divided by Race,” and convicted by the Holy Spirit that God’s will is for churches to look like heaven, Chris and the church staff began to pray for their first staff pastor of color. The very next day, Pastor Ezra Maize, an African American Pastor spontaneously called Chris and said, “Are you ready for your first assistant pastor of color.” God was answering prayer and Ezra joined the staff of the church as a teaching pastor at a critical time in our city. Racial tensions flared and riots broke out because of the death of an unarmed young man. Ezra’s first connection with the deacon board of FCA had to be postponed due to the curfew that was in place because of the civil unrest. His passionate preaching style was life-giving to a congregation stunned by the black/white divide in Cincinnati.
In 2004 the church adopted a clear vision, “To be a racially reconciling, generationally rich, life-giving church thriving in the heart of the city.”
God has used this vision to plant seeds of racial reconciliation in many churches in our city, state, and nation. The church grew from a 98% white commuter church, into a church that is approximately 25% African American and 25% international. The staff, board, and leadership teams are racially diverse and we are continuing to grow and learn what it means to be a reconciling church.
In 2012 the church voted and decided on the new name, Peoples Church, a name given by God to reflect His heart for all people! We are home to over 30 nationalities worshipping and working as an increasingly dynamic mosaic of God’s Kingdom. We also celebrate the incredible age diversity of Peoples Church. Throughout our history, the church has been comprised of all generations working together to share the love of Christ.
Everyone plays a part, everyone has a role in making Peoples Church who it is today, and who it will be in the future. Everything we do, and all that we are, is moving us toward a greater understanding of God’s purpose; to be one reconciled church, a church that worships and prays together, a church which is racially and generational rich, a church who loves God and all people wholeheartedly, and passionately contributes to the growing of His Kingdom.
Our Beliefs & Values
WHAT WE BELIEVE:
We believe there is one true God - revealed in three persons: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.
We believe in the inspiration, infallibility, and authority of the Bible, the Word of God.
We believe in the deity and humanity of Jesus, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of His Father, and His personal return to the earth in power and glory.
We believe salvation is available for all people, made possible by the shed blood of Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
We believe in a literal Heaven & Hell.
We believe that the unity of believers in Christ across every ethnic, cultural, & socio-economic barrier contributes to belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. (John 17:20-23)
We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit:
Salvation - "When you believed you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit." (Ephesians 1:13)
Character - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." (Galatians 5:22-23)
Boldness - "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly." (Acts 4:21)
Spiritual Gifts - "All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."
(1 Corinthians 12:11)
We believe in the gift of healing for our physical bodies through the laying on of hands and anointing with oil and prayer. (James 5:16-17)
We believe in a separated life following Jesus. This includes both personal and social righteousness, defending the rights of the poor and marginalized. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)
WHAT WE VALUE:
To love God and all people wholeheartedly.
To be a racially reconciling, generationally rich, life-giving church, thriving in the heart of the city.
Prayer & Worship - Prayer and worship are primary disciplines of our corporate and individual lives in Christ. (Psalm 96:1, Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 6:5-15)
Healthy Relationships - We value relating authentically in the home, in the church, and in the marketplace.
(1 Samuel 18:1, Luke 10:30-36, 1 Peter 3:1-16)
Diversity - We value celebrating our God-given differences and our unique cultural and generational contributions.
(Numbers 12, Acts 10:34-35, Galatians 3:26-29)
Biblical Literacy - We value knowing, understanding, and applying God’s word corporately and individually.
(Psalm 119:10-16, Colossians 3:16, 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16)
Spiritual Formation and Growth - We value humility, thankfulness, others-centeredness, personal holiness, study, stewardship, giving, authenticity, and a healthy, balanced life.(Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 5:22-26)
Spiritual Vitality - We value walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, being filled and consumed by His energy, power, and presence.(Isaiah 44:3-5, Ephesians 5:15-21)
Gift-Based Ministry - We value discovering and exercising our unique spiritual gifts, as well as offering sacrificial contributions in ministry. (Psalm 139:13-16, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12)
Missions - We value relational evangelism, church multiplication, international missions, and ministry in Cincinnati’s geographic core.(Matthew 9:10-13, Acts 1:8, Romans 1:16)
Justice - We value defending the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintaining the rights of the poor and the oppressed. (Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 82:3, Luke 4:18-19)
Our Pastoral Staff
Meet the Pastoral Staff
Chris Beard is the Lead Pastor of Peoples Church Cincinnati and has served in this role since 2001, and has been on staff since 1992. He graduated from Evangel University in 1989 and received a B.A. in Biblical Studies, and in 1992 received his M.A. in Christian Doctrine and History from Regent University. He and his wife Jan have been married since 1988 and they have three young adult children, Alek, Elle, and Colette.
As the son of missionary parents, he believed God called him to missions work, but God directed him to Peoples Church and gave him the challenge of building church like Heaven on earth. Inspired by John 17:20 - 23 and Revelation 7:9, the deacon board and staff supported this vision God placed on his heart: building a "Racially reconciling, generational rich, life-giving church, thriving in the heart of Cincinnati." It is his desire to see the historical wounds between African Americans and Caucasians healed within the American church, and for that healing to spread to other nations so that the those far from the Gospel and its impact will come to embrace Jesus Christ for who He is; the Son of the Living God who came to make all things new.
Peoples Church is 25% African American and 25% International just 15 years removed from being 98% White, representing over 35 nations, providing worship, serving and discipleship opportunities cross-socio economically and multi generationally. Peoples Church has assisted in the planting of more than 20 churches in 20 years, many of which have ethnic, cultural and generational inclusion similar to Peoples Church Cincinnati.
Tom is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and has served in full-time ministry since 2002 on staff at churches in both Missouri and Ohio. His current role at Peoples Church is executive pastor. He received a Biblical Studies degree from Evangel University in 2001. In addition to Peoples Church, Tom serves as the Assistant Presbyter for the Greater Cincinnati Area, Missions Resource Director for the Ohio Ministry Network and is part of a number of advisory boards including the Coalition of Care, a ministry focused on foster care and adoption. Tom met his wife, Jamie, at Evangel University and they have three children. Some of his favorite hobbies are woodworking, hiking, and camping.
For the past 10+ years, Reggie Lenzy has been impacting and influencing music as a worship pastor, mentor and songwriter. Reggie’s passion is to develop highly influential worship leaders. Reggie is creative and innovative, gets most of his inspiration from playing Sudoku, is a lover of just about anything on HGTV, and an avid reader. He has a B.A. in Bible and Theology. He is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God and began working here in 2013. Reggie leads our Worship and Young Professionals.
Clyde and his wife, Anita, have been in church all their lives. He graduated from Central Bible College in 1958, and has been serving at Peoples Church (First Christian Assembly) since 1968. He currently works with Congregational Care, making hospital visits, home calls, performing weddings, etc. Clyde and Anita have three adult children, Debra, Crystal, and Mark, and four wonderful grandchildren. They are also involved with small groups and loving on all the people in the the church. If you ever need a gum ball, Clyde is your go-to guy.
Cindy is a licensed independent social worker and was born and raised on a wheat farm in Washington state. She received her BSW and MSW degrees from the University of Cincinnati and has served on the pastoral team since 1997, providing counseling, teaching, and leading group studies. She and her husband, Steve, have three grown children and seven grandchildren. Her passion is to apply the truth of God's Word to everyday life so people can walk in freedom and wholeness. After a hot air balloon ride and zip-lining, her next anticipated adventure is sky-diving.
Derek and his wife, Helen, are both from Michigan, and have been a part of Peoples Church and serving as Children's Pastor since 2001. They have two amazing little girls, Lily and Paisley. Watching kids grow in their faith is Derek's passion and he loves coming up with creative ways to help them understand that God loves them and has a plan for their life. Derek loves video games, anything nerdy, professional wrestling, and hunting and fishing.
Petros has been serving as the Internationals Pastor since 2008 and is originally from Ethiopia. The Lord moved him to plant a church there and he served in leadership of Discipleship Ministry under Navigators. His passion for discipleship moved him to start the Habesha Ministry in Cincinnati in 1997, which is now a part of Peoples Church. He did his studies at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is married to Hewan and they have a son, Caleb.
Andrew was born and raised in Gary, Indiana and has been a part of Peoples Church and serving in Youth Ministry since 2015. Andrew started his education at Central Bible College and continued at Evangel University, where he received his B.A. in Youth Ministry with an emphasis in Youth Development. His pentecostal heritage is in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), where his family remains faithful members. Andrew serves as the youth ministry area rep for the Greater Cincinnati Area in the Assemblies of God Ohio Ministry Network. If Andrew could have any superpower it would be the ability to transform into any dinosaur at his command. Side note: Andrew loves dinosaurs.
Our Support Staff
Tia first attended Peoples in 2014. She was born and raised in Montana but is proud to call Cincinnati her second home. She graduated from Trinity Bible College with her General Studies A.A.. She will continue her studies in the fall of 2017, pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. Tia fully believes communication is the key to making any good thing work. She regularly volunteers with the Peeps Children's Ministry. When not working on communications for the church she loves to hang out with friends and he beloved dog, McAvoy Goobster.
Vesta has been attending Peoples Church since 2000. Her adult son, Christian and his wife, Regina, attend here as well. She has been blessed to serve as Administrative Assistant for the worship department since 2001. This is an area about which she is passionate, and she considers it a privilege to be able to serve Peoples Church doing something that she loves; worship.
Sofie has lived in Cincinnati since 1986. She is from Eritrea, which is located in East Africa, and has been attending Peoples Church since 1998. She started working as a receptionist/administrative assistant in 2008. She currently serves as the Executive Assistant to Pastor Chris Beard. She also serves on the Habesha Ministry leadership team to Ethiopians and Eritreans.
Dorothy started attending Peoples Church in 2000 and began working at the church in 2004. She serves as assistant to both the women's ministry and executive pastors. She loves Peoples Church and what God is doing to accomplish His purpose in this church. She is married to Charles and they have 5 adult sons. She is retired from Cincinnati Bell after 31 years of service.
Pam and her husband, David, serve in the Early Childhood area at Peoples Church, supporting the Children's Ministries. They have been a part of Peoples Church since 1999. They have three grown children who are married and eight grandchildren. Pam is passionate about helping children feel loved, accepted, and watching them grow in understanding that Jesus loves them.
Stefanie has been attending Peoples Church since she was born. Her husband, Justin, and their 3 children, Joshua, Abigail, and Rebekah also attend Peoples Church. She has volunteered in all areas of the children's ministry and is now excited to be able to serve as the finance administrator for Peoples Church.
Our Leadership Team
The Leadership team also known as our Thrive Team is a group of incredible people who have discovered their gifts and passions and are actively serving in them. From creating a comfortable environment by serving on the Hospitality Team, to leading the next generation to Jesus by serving on the Student Ministries Team-the Thrive Team is passionate about helping people build relationships and discover their place in the Kingdom of God. If you are interested in being a Thrive Team leader, please email pastor Dele Okuwobi at email@example.com .
Our Serving Opportunities
When we roll up our sleeves, work hard, and unite our efforts we can accomplish great things. Serving is a way to get connected with others and use our talents at Peoples Church, in the city, and around the world. Serving gives life and hope to others and also to yourself. All of us play a big part in spreading God's message of love to the world!
Fill out the form below to be contacted about being a part of the Peoples Church Team.
It's our desire to help resource you in any way. Below are a few of our resources for you to download; some to purchase and others for free. To download our resources, please click on the image to the left of the descriptions below. If you are looking for something else, please feel free to contact us.
BECOMING REVELATION 7:9
Used by the Cincinnati Mosaix Network, Becoming Revelation 7:9 is a booklet of frequently asked questions about the Multi-Ethnic Church.
Why should I be concerned with working toward a multi-ethnic/multicultural presence in my church?
What theological basis exists for this vision of church?
What are the main barriers that exist in pursuing this vision?
Should everyone pursue this vision?
LESSONS FROM THE LISTENING SESSIONS
The Listening Sessions were a project done by Peoples Church to hear the needs of the major cultural groups of people in the church. This project included people from around 30 different nations, divided into six major cultural groups; Asian, African American, Caucasian, East African, West African, and Latino. Concentrated time was spent understanding what the congregation loved about Peoples Church and what could be changed to see each culture more represented. These lessons were compiled by TranscendCulture and are very helpful to move your church towards a multicultural experience. To have a customized Listening Session experience designed for you, contact us; we would love to help.
THE MULTI-ETHNIC CHRISTIAN LIFE PRIMER
An eight-week guide to walking, working, and worshiping God together as one.
The Multi-ethnic Christian Life Primer is the first personal devotional and small group study on multi-ethnic life and church designed for people in the pews. Through this eight-week experience you will grow in your understanding of the biblical mandate for the multi-ethnic church, and gain practical insight for doing life together with diverse others beyond the distinctions of this world that so often and otherwise divide. Eight chapters (weeks) provide seven daily readings to stimulate personal and missionary formation, focused on Theology, History, Considerations, Relationships, Communication, Competence, and Biblical Reflection. Chapters include: Why Multi-ethnic?; Why Now?; Obstacles to Date; Systemic Issues; What God is Doing;How Should I Respond?; How Should the Church Respond?; and Living a Multi-ethnic Christian Life.
Written by Dr. Mark Deymaz and Oneya Fennell Okuwobi.
KIDS (5yrs. - 5th Grade)
Here are a few of Peeps Children's Ministry original 5yrs - 5th grade kids service lessons along with art files for you to download. If you have any questions about these files or Peeps Children's Ministry, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The life and story of Jonah are a whale of a tale.
The Bible is full of Epic stories. Here are the kids service notes
The Bible is full of Epic stories. Here are the art files Part 2
The Bible is full of Epic stories. Here are the art files Part 1
Everyone wants to be a hero. Welcome to Hero City and a look at some of the greatest heroes in the Bible.
We are all aliens in a strange land. Welcome to Alienology.