it all began in 1991…

In 1991, Pastor Levi Rice, Pastor Don Cox, and Pastor Phil Foster got together with a heart to plant a church in the Carrollton Ridge community of Baltimore. The group began praying and meeting in the upstairs of a bar in Carrollton Ridge. The group had a desire to buy the bar in 1991, but the bar owner refused. The group continued doing meetings in the upstairs of the bar for two years. In 1993, the bar owner came back and asked if the church was interested in buying the building.

Established as “Westside Assembly of God” because of the nearby Westside Shopping Center, the church began fully operating out of the building. Pastor Levi Rice brought one of his disciples, Joe Madeiros, to be lead pastor in 1993, and he served in that capacity for 3 years. After this, the Lord continued to do an amazing work under Pastor Ed Michael for the next 6 years. Pastor Marshall Haley stepped in after that and served the community faithfully. Pastor Steve Kahn became lead pastor in 2008. Under Pastor Steve, the “Bread of Life” Soup Kitchen opened and began serving hundreds of meals to the neighborhood on a weekly basis. Pastor Steve also changed the name of the church to “Westside Community Church.” In September 2018, Pastor Jared Michael became officially installed as the new pastor. Following God’s leading, Pastor Jared officially relaunched the church in January 2019 as CityBeat Church.

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stepping into the future

 
Pastor Jared & Ashley Michael

Pastor Jared & Ashley Michael

the michael family

Born in Michigan, Pastor Jared Michael moved to Baltimore when his father, Ed Michael, was offered the job of pastoring Westside Assembly of God. From a young age, he felt a call to give his life to serving the people of Baltimore. The idea for CityBeat Baltimore was birthed when Pastor Jared heard a sermon by Pastor Matthew Barnett of the Los Angeles Dream Center. After founding CityBeat Dream Center in 2015, Pastor Jared felt a pull to start a church in Baltimore City. Pastor Jared’s heart is to bring the hope of the Gospel to everyone he encounters. From the addict to the prostitute to the business leader, all are welcome and invited to encounter the love of Jesus. Jared got married in May 2018, and leads CityBeat Church alongside his wife, Ashley. Ashley graduated from Faith Bible College International in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Theology & Bible Studies with a minor in Music. Pastor Jared and Ashley are excited to begin this new season of reaching Baltimore City together!

 
CityBeat Church’s trailer, gifted by Chapel Springs Church

CityBeat Church’s trailer, gifted by Chapel Springs Church

going mobile

During Pastor Jared’s “Vision Sunday” sermon in November 2018, he shared a desire to see CityBeat Church expand beyond our current facility on Smallwood Street. Our current space is tight on any given Sunday as the sanctuary is hitting capacity and several rooms have to be multi-purpose throughout the course of the morning. We are unable to break our kids into age-specific classes since we are tight on space, and our Sunday School and youth are currently meeting in a large closet. CityBeat Church was gifted a portable church trailer with everything needed to run church on-the-go, so we are excited about exploring the idea of meeting in a local school in 2019. We can’t wait to see where God leads us in this new season!

 
Cleaning up the streets at an Adopt-A-Block in Carrollton Ridge, Baltimore

Cleaning up the streets at an Adopt-A-Block in Carrollton Ridge, Baltimore

the dream center

CityBeat Dream Center is a 501c3 non-profit that serves as a hands-on extension of CityBeat Church in communities across our city. Established in 2015, the Dream Center’s vision is simple: to change the heartbeat of Baltimore through outreach and residential programs. CityBeat hosts outreach events on a regular basis, including the Bread of Life Soup Kitchen, Adopt-A-Blocks, Starry Night outreaches, and more! The Dream Center also runs a long-term residential program for homeless and addicted women, and is excited about starting new residential programs in the near future. CityBeat Church is excited to partner with CityBeat Dream Center as we work to change the heartbeat of Baltimore together! Check out more at citybeatdreamcenter.org.