Greg Barber previously lived in Missouri, where he helped start churches all over the U.S. through the Church Multiplication Network. Now he’s settled five blocks from The Beat Coffeehouse, where he’s working as pastor and his wife Kelsey manages the coffee shop.
Although Barber is new to town, he said Corner Church has owned the building at 1414 W. 28th St. for the past two-and-a-half years. It’s an extension of Corner Church in the North Loop, which has been around since 2006 and is one of few self-sustaining urban churches in the country, Barber said.
“It’s hard to find new, vibrant churches within city centers,” he said.
Barber is relaunching church services at the coffee shop starting Jan. 18 and continuing every Sunday at 10 a.m. He said the church setup is much like the coffee shop setup, with tables that encourage conversation. The church is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination.
“Part of the mission is to get people to talk,” Barber said. “I really believe faith is built on the back of asking good questions.”
Under church ownership, The Beat has transitioned from a music-focused venue to a coffee-focused spot, Barber said. The coffee comes from True Stone, where staff deliver beans a single day after roasting. The church knocked down part of a wall at The Beat to brighten up the room, and patrons now have more room to sit at the counter while they wait for drinks.
“The goal is to be a valued part of the community,” Barber said. “It’s not about us. It’s about us adding value.”