Faith Beats

A Podcast for Youth and Families


The Faith Beats Podcast was created with the intention of connecting busy families in the digital world. Podcasts are available to parents, youth, anyone who is interested, at any time and in any place. Our hope it that through this podcast, we create space to explore this question in a real, tangible way. In addition, we hope that using podcasting we can create leadership opportunities for youth within our community and space for families to contribute. We will explore faith and how it connects to our lives in unique and intimate ways.

Faith Beats is a podcast about the questions of life and rhythms of faith, community, and imagination, through the narrative lens of storytelling, arts, and spiritual practices. Each episode will use a different medium to take a unique approach of exploring how faith intersects our lives.  

Faith Beats is a podcast created by the Youth and Families Ministries of First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, MI. First Presbyterian strives to be as diverse as God’s kingdom, and as wide and hospitable as the Spirit’s embrace. Here, we don’t all look, act, or pray alike. God knows we do not all think alike. We Presbyterians do not read the Bible the same way. Our questions are different, our burdens are diverse, and our aspirations are distinct. But every Sunday, we worship as one, unified by the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We worship a living God who calls us to love and support one another. Together we can do marvelous things – and grow closer to God and one another along the way. Come visit us - everyone is welcome! If you are new to us we invite you to visit and explore our many programs and service opportunities.


Meet the Hosts


Rev. Khayla Johnson

Rev Khayla Johnson joined Faith Beats with the vision and drive to integrate faith and creativity. Born into the Presbyterian (U.S.A.) tradition, Khayla has a deep rooted faith that has shaped her life over time. A Southerner at heart, Khayla has a love-hate relationship with the Midwest winters. Her hobbies include photography, drawing and sports.

Rev. Mark Mares

With us since our founding, Rev Mark Mares is our fearless leader and felt like a podcast could be used to connect youth to faith.A lifelong learner, Mark was influenced at a young age by multi-generational and multi-cultural approaches to liturgy and worship. Mark enjoys soccer, so much so that he named his dog Lio (short for the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi!).