From our early years Peoples Church has been a multiplying church.
Perhaps it was our first pastor in 1906, a former missionary recently returned from China, who instilled the concept of multiplying leaders and churches.
Perhaps it was from our first female deacon, Nancy Starrett, that we received the multiplication DNA—after her return from a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit during her visit to the early 20th Century Azusa Street Revival led by William J. Seymour in 1907.
For sure our 1930’s-1940’s Pastor O. E. Nash and his wife, Pearl, shared a vision to multiply leaders and churches during their 18 years of leading then Christian Assembly—over 80 churches were planted across Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, and the Kentucky District of the Assemblies of God was birthed. Pastor Nash served as their first Superintendent (bishop) from Cincinnati, while also still leading the church full-time.
They used a residency style leader development strategy. Potential church planters were housed and trained at the church facility at 1224 Race Street, Cincinnati for six months before the Assembly would then commission them to plant a church.
Multiplying leaders. Multiplying churches. Growing the Kingdom.
From the 1960’s on many more churches were planted or assisted as they began: Tri-County AG, Vineyard Cincinnati, Crossroads.
Then, after the church vision began to include racial reconciliation at the core of our purpose—and creating access for all people to Jesus and His Kingdom at the core of our mission—many more churches were planted or assisted in starting. Two dozen over 20 years to be specific, from the late 1990’s through the late 2010’s.
Somewhere in the mid-2010’s, we began to talk about formalizing our work of multiplication. Structuralizing it.
God was beginning to speak to Chris and Jan’s hearts about the idea of 30 churches like heaven on earth by 2030.
As they shared that idea with the Wilkes and the Baxters, Petros Yefru, Sofie Ezaz, Reggie Lenzy, and others…something more specific began to emerge. And one day, Tom Baxter said out loud, “I believe God wants racially reconciling churches in racially fractured cities all over the nation. He wants more Peoples Churches.”
That statement profoundly resonated in all of our hearts who heard it. That was around the Summer of 2016.
Together we pulled an eldership together—the Wilkes, the Baxters, Sofie Ezaz, the Beards, Petros Yefru, and a key lay couple who had directly helped lead First Christian Assembly of God (the name since the late 1930’s) toward becoming Peoples Church in 2012, Cyndie and Ed Wiethe.
This group of elders, all of whom had travelled a 20 year journey together through Christ in us, formed Peoples Church Network.
Peoples Church St. Louis was planted by Brandon and Dorothy Wilkes in 2017.
Peoples Church East Cincinnati opened in the spring of 2018.
Along the way we met almost monthly to write a vision, bylaws and apply for 501(C)3 status. We birthed a residency program and developed leadership content for Peoples leaders and churches.
We began to dream a dream and write it down together (Habakkuk 2:2).
Peoples Churches, and churches like heaven on earth, in all the earth. To His glory, because of the price of His purchase, and in keeping with His incisive strategy…to bring under His authority every one of His enemies (1 Corinthians 15:24-26)—the mystery of Christ now revealed (Ephesians 3:6).
Welcome to Peoples Church Network.