Brian Bolt


Pastor / World Leader / Church Planter

It was March 17, 2002. Brian was hanging out and drinking with friends at the Melody Manner Bar in Barrelville, Maryland. At the time, he was 23, on appellate leave from the Navy and awaiting his discharge papers from the military. At some point in the evening, one of the men Brian had sold drugs to accused him of giving him a raw deal and a fight ensued. Before Brian knew it, his accuser stood to his feet, pulled out a .22 caliber pistol, pointed it at Brian’s head and shot him. Brian recalls, “all I could see was blood pouring out like water coming out of a spigot”. Brian was left there to die. He was tired of the hard, terrible life he was living. All he wanted to do was die.


An ambulance was called and as they were rushing Brian to the hospital the E.M.T told Brian, “you are not going to make it to the hospital. Do you know Christ as your personal savior?” Brian felt death taking him over as he said no to the man’s question. The E.M.T. led Brian in the prayer for salvation in the back of that ambulance. Though Brian didn’t understand what it meant to have Jesus as his savior, he felt a sense of peace when he finished the prayer.

In the hospital Brian was told that he would be a vegetable. He was paralyzed on the left side of his body. The medical team had to place a thin gold weight in his left eye lid so it would close properly, otherwise he would lose his eye. The bullet ricocheted in his jaw, totally shattering it. Titanium was placed in his jaw to hold it together. The bullet became embedded in his carotid artery. Brian was unable to speak, eat or swallow. He lived this way for 75 days.


After 75 days, Brian began to speak a little and was able to walk again. He was sent home to finish his recovery. Since he didn’t understand the meaning of the salvation prayer that he prayed, Brian went back to the only life he had ever known, the street life. He started using drugs again and began to fall back into the lifestyle that he so desperately wanted to get away from. Not long after his release from the hospital, Brian was walking on the street when two men came up to him. They told him “God has a purpose for you. Come with us and we will bring you into a men’s recovery home. You can stay here and live with us; you don’t need to live on the streets anymore. We believe that God has a call on your life.” Brian went to live at the Christian Recovery Home in LA. That decision changed his life.


Brian learned about Jesus and God showed Brian the calling that He had on his life. Brian was going to be a pastor. Brian’s passion was to reach ‘the worst of the worst’. In praying and seeking God’s will, Brian was led to the Master’s Commission in Gettysburg, PA. While in Gettysburg, Brian studied under a church planter.

Brian’s desire was to plant an inner city church and develop a men’s and woman’s recovery home. God answered his prayers in April 2004 by calling him to move to Pittsburgh, PA. Through Brian’s vision and God’s blessing, Pittsburgh City Outreach (PCO) was born.

Now, PCO has been succeeded by City Reach Church Pittsburgh and City Reach Network. The Network has planted churches and Hope Homes throughout the northeast. “This September we’ll be launching 20 churches in one day, and 10 of them being in the Northern New England District,” Bolt said. “We’re better together, working together, to reach lost people and we don’t care who gets the credit as long as God gets the glory!”

To learn more about Brian Bolt and the CityReach Network please visit