Christian Heritage Training Center Community Church is a world-class training center that provides comprehensive spiritual preparation for believers in Christ Jesus so that they may go out and reap the Lord’s ready harvest.

We reside on Chicago’s South side; however, the quality of every aspect of our organization will always be the best in the world; giving our best is our reasonable service to God. And, while our focus is initially domestic, we believe that God can and will expand our ministry around the globe.

The goal of Christian Heritage is not to build a mega-church, but to build a training center, of which the church is a part of the ministry. Our model is to be the “Moody Bible Institute of the South side of Chicago.” Other aspects of the ministry will include: a bible school, educational services organization (CAPS/CWEM), school, day care, center for teenage or battered women, a shelter, and numerous other ministries, including fund-generating entities such as a mini-mart store (Noah’s Ark).

Serving God is not simply a spiritual exercise. We cannot “be so heavenly bound that we are no earthly good.” Serving God is a commitment of our entire lives, which in addition to the spiritual must include the cultural, emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of our lives in Christ.

Training at Christian Heritage is first and foremost in the Word of God, in our life in Christ and in the Holy Spirit. Christian Heritage Training Center is an interdenominational church that has it foundation in Pentecostalism – that is, we believe in the moving and unction of the Holy Spirit.

Christian Heritage is a “working ministry.” We believe that God called His people to accept Him as Lord and Savior, serve Him unwaveringly, and apply our talents to touching the lives of others and building His kingdom.

Our theme scripture is “…the harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). God’s “ready harvest” includes those who need to know Jesus Christ as Lord, as well as those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah but have been “battered” by their experience in “churchanity” and in life. Christian Heritage wants to prepare people to be ready vessels so that they can reach other lost, downtrodden, dispossessed, disenfranchised, battered, confused, and directionless to share God’s message of salvation, deliverance and His soon coming Kingdom.

Our Lives

Be praying people.

Be a consecrated people.

Walk in the Spirit (Deeper Life).

Put and keep God first.

Share love with everyone.

Reach out and extend yourself to others.

Embrace and practice wisdom (Proverbs).

Be dedicated followers – support others.

Be dedicated leaders.

Ask “what can I do for God?” instead of what can God do for me?”

Be yielded and willing vessels.

Our Operations

Operate services with a high degree of excellence (at all times).

Start services on time.

Deliverance does not just come through prayer lines but through the move of God throughout every aspect of the service.

Don’t be motivated by people, things, or a need for entertainment.

Let conversations always edify God (avoid Godless chatter, gossip and talebearing).


  • Salvation
  • Sanctification (Holiness)
  • Spiritual Baptism (Power)


Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper

We believe that Holy Communion is a fundamental worship of the church. It is one of the communal religious rituals that gives structure, definition and expression to the relationship between God and the company of Christian believers. The Lord’s Supper involves the breaking of bread that is symbolic of Jesus’ body, and the drinking of “wine” which is symbolic of His blood that was shed at Calvary.

Water Baptism

We believe that water baptism is received on profession of faith in Christ, and sets the divine seal of the Spirit on those who are being saved. It is symbolic of the burial of the old sinful nature and the resurrection of a new spiritual creation.

Spiritual Baptism (Acts 2:4)

We believe that Spiritual baptism is the source of power for living an ‘apostolic’ life. Christians should expect to receive the same evidence of that experience as the earliest Christians received on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Baptism of God’s Holy Spirit is a special gift to believers, which brings spiritual life, power, wisdom and understanding, and divine revelation, which leads to a better understanding of God’s Word and His perfect ways. Fundamentally, the filling of the Spirit is directly related to prophetic ministry and revelation. However, we do not teach that speaking in tongues (glossolalia) is the only outward manifestation or evidence of this power.

To be a minister is to be a servant. Servants are those who wait upon, who are attendants. Thus, accepting the office of a minister is accepting the role of a “public servant.” At Christian Heritage, ministers are called upon to minister to the needs of both CHTC laity and all those in need. Our endeavor is, quite simply, to build the kingdom of God.

Dr. Mary T. Carr, Founder, Senior Pastor

“… Working in the trenches…”

Pastor Carr has been in ministry for over fifty years, including thirty-one years as pastor of Christian Heritage Training Center. She has been gifted by God as a preacher, counselor, teacher, evangelist and prophet. But above all, Pastor Carr values prayer and is used by God to intercede in prayer for many. She often encourages people to “keep their prayer wheel turning” at all times. “If you’re worrying, you must not be praying.”

Pastor Carr is a servant that works in the trenches. Her mission is to reach the downtrodden and dispossessed that have never heard of Jesus Christ. She also works as vessel of the Lord to restore faith in disenfranchised and battered ‘Christians’. Her qualifications have resulted in offers to teach in seminaries, however, she has held fast to the call on her life stating, “…the people that I need to reach may never make it to seminary or higher education…”

Dr. Carr was raised in church. However, she has always felt that the churches in the African American community could do more to prepare their ministers and missionaries with a deep and complete understanding of God’s Word and His ways. Unfortunately, too many people have been hurt and turned away from “church” because of the misinterpretation of scripture, hypocrisy, and a failure to show how the Gospel relates to oppressed people, especially African-Americans.

How can we, as African-Americans who have been enslaved in this country, understand and feel proud of our spiritual and natural culture and heritage, unless we are taught? How can we feel good about ourselves as Christians unless we understand how God fits into our everyday life experiences? Much more has to be done to help African-Americans develop a greater understanding of our Christian heritage; to understand how our beliefs in God, which stem from our African heritage, are applicable in our lives today.

In October 1985, Pastor Carr obeyed the Lord and began the ministry of Christian Heritage Training Center (CHTC), with her husband James Carr and others, to meet this exact need. The mission of Christian Heritage is to build a training institute that provides holistic ministry and training for African-American Christians and people of all cultures — and it is well on its way!

Over the thirty-one years, the CHTC Community Church has been and continues to be an oasis for many people young and old; and Pastor Carr, with her tough love, continues to encourage and inspire many to reach new heights both spiritually and naturally. Pastor Carr also founded the Community Academic Para School, which has served as the educational arm of CHTC, providing tutorial and educational support to “at-risk” youth.

At CHTC, spirit-filled leaders and counselors are being trained in a complete understanding of God’s Word, to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and to minister to troubled youth, adults, and families facing numerous challenges. Dr. Carr understands that it is going to take faith, prayer, and action to move the mountains of drugs, teen-age pregnancy, gangs, poverty, discouragement, broken homes and hopelessness that plague our communities. Although these “mountains” seem to be more prevalent today than ever before, God continues to demonstrate His awesome power and his ability to deliver His people in these “end times.”

Pastor Mary Trout Carr has a B.A. in Language and Literature (Governor’s State University), a Master of Theological Studies (Garrett Evangelical – Northwestern University Campus), a Certificate of Theological Studies (Lutheran School of Theology – University of Chicago Campus), and a PhD in Theology (Union Graduate).

Though Pastor Carr’s ministry is focused on filling the gaps among God’s African-American children, her ministry has touched, continues to touch, and is supported by people of all nationalities and ethnicities. As one successful businessman said, “I am a better man because Pastor Carr has touched my life.”

Pastor Carr is the author of several articles, papers and a book entitled, It Ain’t That Kind of Love. She works tirelessly teaching and counseling individuals, married couples, and families in how to improve and strengthen their relationship with God and each other. As a powerful, humorous, practical and anointed teacher, Pastor is often asked to speak, preach, and conduct workshops for both young adults and adults.

Meredith and Tina Johnson, Associate Pastors

Meredith & Tina met while attending Northwestern University. After a two-year courtship, they married in 1988, sensing God’s call to oneness and ministry. One year later, they were ordained and licensed for gospel ministry, and since have served in various ministerial capacities, including Associate Pastors, Senior Pastors and Youth Pastors. They currently serve as Associate Pastors at Christian Heritage Training Center in Chicago.

Meredith & Tina believe that the core of a close relationship with Christ centers on worship. Worship should not be based on circumstance, feelings, or obligation; but on love and devotion to God. By teaching others to lay aside worldly distractions and selfish ambitions, they desire to make worship an unconditional act of surrender, reverence, communion and fellowship with the Lord. Their mission is first, to worship the Lord daily in Spirit and in truth through their own lives, and secondly, to motivate others to know the Lord and serve Him with a pure, sincere heart.

Meredith & Tina also have a heart for marriages. Over the years, they have counseled many couples, battling ills ranging from ‘irreconcilable differences’ to infidelity and abuse. They firmly believe that God created marriage as a model of Christ’s relationship with the Church; and the power and wisdom of the risen Christ can deliver, heal and restore any situation. Their ministry is to demonstrate God’s love, joy, and faithfulness in their own marriage while encouraging other couples to experience God’s best as well.

Meredith earned a B.A. in mathematics from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. in finance, with distinction, from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Tina earned a B.S. in communication studies from Northwestern University. They have five children and reside in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.


Dr. Deena Carr, Associate Pastor of Operations 
Dr. Carr loves inspiring young people to excel, and has received several awards for her leadership in business and the community.
A speaker, strategist, and teacher, Dr. Carr has been seen on television networks such as ABC, NBC, First Business, the Word Network, TBN, and TLN. She has also been heard on numerous national and local radio programs sharing insights on wealth and financial freedom.
Dr. Carr is currently a partner at a global management consulting firm. She has served as an adjunct professor of Macroeconomics and Global Economics at North Park University Graduate School of Business and Non-Profit Management, in addition to being on staff at Christian Heritage Training Center.
Dr. Carr earned a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and advanced her studies at the London School of Economics’ Executive Education program.
Jerard and Kaitana Woods, Youth Ministers


Jerard and Kaitana met their freshmen year attending Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts college located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Shortly after graduating in 2012, they married and began their life together as one in Christ. They have a strong desire to serve the Lord with a sincere heart, that they may be effective leaders for the youth of Christian Heritage Training Center and beyond.

Jerard was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. With his father being a minister, his mother being a devoted member of Christian Heritage, and him being the nephew of Pastor Carr, he naturally grew up in the church and accepted Jesus Christ at a young age. It was also during this time that the gift of music was instilled in him, and he began to play the piano and the organ for the church. With the encouragement of Pastor Carr, he began to craft and develop this gift for the Lord, and now, he also serves as the Director of Music at Christian Heritage.

After graduating from Whitney Young Magnet High School in 2006, Jerard joined Teen Mania’s Honor Academy in east Texas. After completing their one-year internship, he stayed on as a part of the ministry team for Acquire the Fire. That year, he traveled the U.S. working and performing in front of thousands of youth in different cities each weekend, watching thousands give their lives back to Christ. Upon his completion of the program in 2008, Jerard began furthering his education at Wheaton College. While there, Jerard was an active member of the Wheaton College Gospel Choir, serving in multiple positions, including as a musician. Still involved with the choir today, he has had the opportunity to minister across the U.S. and internationally, as well as in the greater Chicagoland area, including working on the choir’s 3rd CD recording in 2012.

Kaitana was born in Chicago, IL, and raised in Bolingbrook, IL. Her parents brought her up in the church, teaching her that her faith had to be her own—that she must know Christ for herself. With their guidance and example, Kaitana’s love for Christ grew, and she committed to living her life for Him. After marrying into the ministry of Christian Heritage, Kaitana took on the role of serving as one of the youth ministers and working in the financial office.

Jerard graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Business & Economics. He currently works as a Compliance Associate for an investment firm in downtown Chicago. Kaitana earned a B.S. in mathematics and secondary education. Since graduating college, she has worked as both a 7th grade and a high school math teacher, teaching students algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. She felt God calling her to step in and assist her parents with their home health business, where she currently works as a personal assistant. Jerard and Kaitana reside in Bolingbrook, IL.

Stephen Johnson, Youth Minister
The third of five children to Associate Pastors Meredith and Tina, Stephen Johnson was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. A member of Christian Heritage Training Center all his life, Stephen was brought up in the confidence that Jesus Christ is Lord, the only begotten Son of God the Father.
At a young age, God began to draw Stephen to Himself through music. Stephen is a talented multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, and arranger. Although he plays the piano, bass guitar, drum set, and percussion, his primary instrument is the trumpet, which he has played since the age of nine. While in high school, Stephen won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, the John Philip Sousa Award, and several Division I Solo and Ensemble Contest ratings for excellent trumpet performance as a classical and jazz soloist. He has played with acclaimed soloists such as Pharez Whitted and Dennis Sullivan.
As a young man, the Lord continued to draw upon the gifts He placed in Stephen, blessing him to preach his first message at sixteen years old. Being filled with the Holy Spirit soon after, Stephen now walks in the power and authority of God. He co-leads the Harvest Force Spiritual S.E.A.L.S., a team of prayer warriors that goes into the city of Chicago during the midnight hour to war with the demonic forces holding both souls and communities. A powerful young man of God, Stephen now seeks to impart a fiery passion for God into the youth.
Stephen graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in electrical engineering. His hobbies include learning new instruments, powerlifting, and writing. Through all, Stephen seeks to glorify God.