This is the story of City Beautiful Church, a community of Christ-followers rooted in Orlando to be a colony of heaven. Our desire is to love the city well and that we would be known by the love of Christ. We are passionate about the creativity of our Creator and we welcome anyone that resonates with our love for the city and for Christ.
City Beautiful Church traces its roots to Status, formerly the 20’s ministry of Discovery Church. Jon Tyson (TRINITY GRACE CHURCH in NYC) started conversations with David Loveless (then senior pastor of DISCOVERY) expressing a desire to create a ministry intended to meet a demographic in Orlando that was currently not involved in a church community. Status began in January of 2004 and met in the Gallery at Discovery Church and quickly grew to the point of needing to add a second service time in April.
In the middle of 2008, the leadership of Status felt like God was prompting the removal of the “20’s only” label that the community had existed in for the initial 4 years. It was becoming apparent that there was a continuing evolution of the ministry to include all people, regardless of age. With this transition, the Greenhouse was started, with the intention of being a holistic educational environment for children ages birth through 11 years old.
The end of 2009 saw another change of leadership as Cole NeSmith moved from Creative Director to Pastor. In 2010, the leadership of Status began preliminary conversations with the senior leadership of Discovery Church. Both parties felt God was doing something huge with a transition that would result in the planting of the Status Community into the City Center.
In 2012, we launched as a church plant in the heart of Orlando as City Beautiful Church. A year later Ryan Adams was invited from The Anchor Fellowship in Nashville to co-pastor with Cole in order to champion shepherding and outreach while Cole focused on organization and vision. In the first year of existence, we found ourselves in five separate venues, and in October 2013, we moved into the SAK Comedy Lab at the very heart of the city. The stability of a consistent location enabled us to refine our call and identity to be agents of change in the greater Orlando area, right from the hub of culture. During that season we built upon the core values of the community in series such as Kingdom//Empire, Abide – Intimacy, Identity, and Purpose, and our Gifts journey, in which we spent 23 weeks discovering how God has crafted each of us to contribute to His redeeming work in the world.
As we continued to grow and mature as a community, the next call was to find a more permanent “home” – a space that would enable us to entertain more of a seven-day presence. The search for a building brought us to our current location in the Lake Ivanhoe district, a vibrant and developing community just north of the city center. As we stood on the roof gazing at the city around us, we knew the Lord had granted us a place to step into our next chapter as His family, learning to live in heavenly reality.
As our communal mission expanded and evolved, so did our leadership. In February of 2016, Cole moved back into a creative role in order to develop his call to a local and national platform advocating for artistic expression in the Church and the city. Ryan stepped forward as pastor at City Beautiful Church, while the elder board was refreshed and refocused to continue to watch over the growth of the church. Soon after, Marcos Carrion joined the staff as the Director of Operations.
Since being in Lake Ivanhoe, we have been able to blossom our individual ministries that help us to be God’s faithful presence in Orlando, whether it’s our Greenhouse kids ministry, our Local/Global outreach, or our Engagement and Operations teams crafting a compelling space that welcome all to the Table.