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About Beth Ariel Fellowship

A little history...

Over the past few decades, not since the first century have such a large number of Jewish people embraced Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah and Lord. For many Jewish believers, however, a traditional “church” environment proved to be too foreign or simply unable to nurture and sustain their identity as Jews. To serve the unique needs of these Jewish believers, the Lord saw fit to establish what have become known as “Messianic Congregations” (sometimes referred to as “Messianic Jewish congregations”). From its humble beginnings in 1981, Beth Ariel Fellowship has served as a spiritual home for Jewish and Gentile believers who share a common faith in Messiah Jesus. Our fellowship is sensitive to the needs, backgrounds and special struggles of the Jewish believer. At the same time, we provide an exciting (and often enlightening) home for Gentile believers who desire to more fully appreciate the Jewish roots of their faith. We incorporate a creative approach to worship that reflects New Covenant (New Testament) teachings through the richness of Jewish culture as expressed in its history, holidays and music. In Hebrew, the term “Beth Ariel” means “House of the Lion of God.” It is Beth Ariel’s confession that Yeshua (Jesus) is that “Lion…from the tribe of Judah” (Revelations 5:5). Baruch HaShem! (Praise His Name!)

Keeping a balance...

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity."
Psalm 133:1

A lot of history (some good, some not so good) has passed since the first century and believers have long needed a functioning model of a New Covenant (New Testament) congregation. Unfortunately, there was a great departure from the biblical model we see described in the Book of Acts. We are grateful to God that times have changed! Many larger, non-Jewish sectors of the Body of Messiah are experiencing a reawakening as to the Jewish roots of Christianity -- and with this has come a more sincere appreciation of the inherent Jewishness of the faith. Pointing to the first century assembly of believers as our model, Beth Ariel Fellowship seeks to be a congregation wherein Jew and Gentile are encouraged to maintain their ethnic and cultural distinctives, while at the same time worship and serve together as spiritual equals before God.

Our congregational leader...

Pastor Louis S. Lapides has been the spiritual leader of Beth Ariel since its inception in 1981. He was raised in a Conservative Jewish home in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Hebrew school and became Bar Mitzvahed at the traditional age of thirteen. In 1969 he accepted Yeshua of Nazareth as his Jewish Messiah.

Pastor Lapides received a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and later earned his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees at Talbot Theological Seminary in La Mirada, California. Additionally, he has completed studies toward his Ph.D. in the ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at UCLA.

Pastor Lapides has served as an instructor for the Walk Through the Bible Seminars throughout the United States and Canada, and as a Professor of Biblical Studies at Biola University in La Mirada, California. He has been featured on several talk radio and television programs including "Religion on the Line" and "Religion Today." Pastor Lapides is featured in author Lee Strobel's best selling book, The Case for Christ, and is a contributor and writer for Teshmusic.com, an inspirational website owned and managed by musical artist and performer, John Tesh. As a conference speaker, Pastor Lapides emphasizes practical teaching from the Bible on spiritual growth, family and individual life issues.

Pastor Lapides resides with his wife Deborah and two children, Jonathan and Justin.


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Keeping a balance...

Our congregational leader...
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