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 create access, for all people, to Jesus and His Kingdom.
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 has been Lead Pastor of Peoples Church Cincinnati since 2001, and on staff since 1992. Chris is passionate about Jesus and embracing all people with Jesus’ love. Chris believes diverse unity is God’s vision for his Church (John 17, Eph. 3) and isn’t opposed to doing Kingdom work on a golf course when he has an opportunity! Chris has lived in many cities but considers Cincinnati home. Chris holds a Biblical Studies degree from Evangel University and an MA in Christian Doctrine and History from Regent University.
Jan is the Missions and Residency Program director at Peoples Church. She is a Cincinnati native and after living in several locales, from Colorado to Croatia, God brought her back to this city with a passion for the nations. She remains grateful and amazed that God brought the nations to Peoples Church! Jan received her BA from Evangel University in International Studies and her MA from Fuller Seminary in Global Leadership. She and Chris have three adult children, Alek, Elle, and Colette and a son-in-law, Phil.
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.
Jim comes to Peoples Church after over 25 years in the business world, serving in various functional leadership roles across a variety of industries. In 2013, seeking to use his gifts and business experience in service to Christ, Jim left a senior management position to pursue seminary education. In 2016, he received a Master of Divinity from Liberty University with a concentration in Theology and was ordained by the National Association of Christian Ministers. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University.
Utilizing his background, Jim is focused on ensuring operational excellence in order to help Peoples Church Cincinnati be increasingly effective in its vision and grow in God’s kingdom. Additionally, along with the Peoples Church Network eldership, he is helping to build the systems, structures, and training for a network of Peoples Churches that carry the vision of a racially reconciled, generationally rich church wherever God wills. In his free time, Jim enjoys practicing his guitar and developing his photographic skills.
After relocating to four urban areas during the intervening years, Kelley is excited to be back near her home and family in Tennessee and her church family here at Peoples Church.
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. She loves Cincinnati and it proud to call it her new home. She is working towards a degree in Graphic Design Tia fully believes communication is the key to making any good thing work. You can see her most Sundays leading the Hospitality Team. When not working on communications for the church she loves to hang out with friends and her 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.
Allana has attended Peoples Church for one year with her amazing husband Wayne Tolbert. The two of them were joined together in matrimony June of 2007. They both have been saved since they were knee high to a grasshopper. Although Allana serves in various areas of the church, her actual job title is Youth Ministry Administrator under Pastor Andrew King.
Allana is known for her charismatic personality, great sense of humor and style. She has a passion for women's empowerment and enjoys singing, laughing, cooking and Kingdom ministry in all forms. Allana is committed to showing the world what the Multi-Cultural, Multi-talented Kingdom of God looks like. She believes that everything you will ever need is already deep inside of you.
When Allana was asked to sum herself up in one statement, she simply stated, "There used to be a time when I was self conscious about round nose, full lips and big personality, but now I celebrate my uniqueness because the painter of Creation shows me how."
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 Petros Yefru 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.