The New Hope Baptist Church began as a mission in the former Zion Presbyterian Church at 373 Farrington Street. This edifice was offered by the late Peter McFarlane, Superintendent of the Union Gospel Mission to Reverend Kneely Williams for use as a mission to bring the Word of God to the community.
With the help of family, friends and neighbors, the “Welcome Chapel Mission” opened its doors on Easter Sunday Morning, April 13, 1952, with about thirty young people attending 11 o’clock service. Reverend Kneely Williams preached the first sermon in the newly formed mission, using for his subject, “A Risen Savior and An Empty Tomb.”
A few months later the church was blessed with its first member, Henrietta York and from that Sunday the mission continued to grow steadily with the help of God. The stay in the building on Farrington was of short duration because the I-94 freeway and urban renewal projects. During the next few years, church services were in various buildings such as Local 516 at 525 Rondo, a church building at 325 Chatsworth, and various homes of some of the members.
From this very small and humble beginning with one member in 1952, the mission continued to be blessed with many more dedicated members. By unanimous consent of the members, the present New Hope Baptist Church was organized on Sunday, December 12, 1954.
The organization service was held in the St. Paul Lutheran Church at Chatsworth and Marshall. Many of the National Baptist friends and American Baptist ministers and friends participated in the ceremony. This was indeed, a joyous occasion and later that evening in our place of worship, several new members were added to the membership roll. We now had the members to carry out all of the ordinances of the work of God. The church organized a Trustee Board, Deacon Board, Sunday School, Baptist Training Union, Choir, Usher Board, and Mission Society.
Five years and two months from its inception, the New Hope Baptist church was instrumental in securing a new church home at 321 Edmund Street. On June 22, 1958, the New Hope Baptist Church congregation marched into its first permanent building. All were praising God and giving thanks for this wonderful blessing. The membership continued to grow and the church was then blessed with three Choirs, Missions, Junior and Senior Usher Boards, Deacons, Trustees, Young Adult Fellowship Club, Sunday School, Evening Fellowship Hour and other auxiliaries. This was New Hope's home for over ten years, and again God saw the needs and blessed the church with 1115 Dayton Avenue. On May 4, 1969, the New Hope Baptist Church entered this building, still singing and praising God.
On January 1, 1992, the Reverend Dr. Kneely Williams retired as Pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church. For 40 years, the Reverend Dr. Kneely Williams lead and served the New Hope Congregation. As Pastor, Reverend Williams ordained over 20 ministers into the ministry; spread the gospel near and far, and remained faithful as Pastor Emeritus until his death on March 22, 2000. In the words of the songwriter: We’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord; Trusting in His Holy Word, He’s never failed us yet!
After the retirement of our Founding Pastor, The late Reverend Dr. Kneely Williams, New Hope continued to blossom and grow, with a new shepherd, Reverend Randy L. Jackson of Fort Worth Texas.
Reverend Randy L. Jackson came to New Hope with a burning desire to continue in the tradition set forth by our Founding Pastor Emeritus the late Reverend Dr. Kneely Williams, and that was to “teach Christ.” Reverend Jackson also felt led to establish new traditions to meet the need of our changing congregation and community.
The installation service for Reverend Randy Jackson was held on September 26, 1993. The guest speakers were Reverend Julius L. Jackson, Pastor of the Christian Faith Missionary Baptist Church of Indianapolis, Indiana; for our morning worship service; The Late Reverend Julius L. Jackson, Sr. Pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas; for our afternoon installation service. Our two speakers for the day were the brother and father of Reverend Randy L. Jackson, respectively. Reverend Jackson challenged the entire church with a vision of “continual harvest and spiritual growth.”
In 1994, New Hope established an Expansion Committee to look into properties or another church home for the growing New Hope family. A building fund was established with a goal of $200,000 to assist us in securing a new location.
In the spring of 1998, a member of New Hope and Reverend Jackson toured the St. Ambrose Catholic Church located on the east side of St. Paul. The expansion committee presented this east side location to the church membership for consideration. Through prayer, increased giving, pledges and the faith of the church members, the building fund goal was achieved in October 1988, authorization to move forward on purchasing the location was obtained, approved by the church members and accepted by St. Ambrose for the purchase.
Through the faithful work of the membership to prepare for the move, on November 4, 1998, the moving trucks began the process of relocating from the 1115 Dayton location to our new church home at 712 Burr Street and adjacent church offices located at 711 Bradley Street. On Sunday November 8, 1998, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the front door of the “New” New Hope Baptist Church.
From 1993-2001, Reverend Randy L. Jackson served as Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church. Under Reverend Jackson’s leadership, several projects were taken on to make the transition in sanctuary ready for our Baptist faith, which included a baptismal pool, choir stand pulpit, and a sound system.
Reverend Jackson and the Late Pastor Emeritus Reverend Dr. Kneely Williams continued to work and serve in the community as a team until the passing of Reverend Williams in March of 2000. This was a sad day for New Hope but through the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, New Hope continues to worship and praise God for the blessings He has given us.
Our membership grew as well as ministries Youth; young adult and children ministries were added as well as the evangelistic ministries reaching out to the prisons (youth, male, and female) and to the community. Our vision statement was “A Community of Faith, Building A Community of People” and is evident in our commitment to God’s plan for His people.
In November 2001, the pulpit was vacated and the Deacon Board was responsible for supplying pulpit services for the church. The Deacon Board recommended that Reverend Marcia Wyatt acted as Pulpit Coordinator until the church selected a Pastor in 2004. Our mission during those three years was to realized that “With God All Things Are Possible.”
In 1997 the Expansion Committee implemented a pledge drive and fundraising activities to help pay off the mortgage that was made at the time of purchase for our new location. The drive was successful and at our 50th Anniversary Celebration, we were able to burn the mortgage during our afternoon Anniversary Celebration held on Sunday December 8, 2002. The theme for the 50th Anniversary was taken from Matthew 16:18 ...And Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church…
We thank God for allowing us to celebrate 50 years where we were able to host a reunion concert of past youth and adult choir participants, an 50th Anniversary Banquet and the mortgage burning ceremony.
From 2001 until 2004, the Search Committee searched diligently for a shepherd for our congregation. On Sunday, June 27, 2004, Reverend Runney D. Patterson Sr. of Tupelo, Mississippi, preached his first sermon here. On Sunday July 11, 2004, Reverend Patterson was elected, appointed, and anointed by God to be the next Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church. Installation services for Reverend Patterson were held on Sunday October 24, 2004 with his former Pastor Reverend James A Boyd of Columbus, Mississippi officiating. An official proclamation was issued on that day by Mayor Randy Kelly that declared Sunday October 24, 2004, the Reverend Runney D. Patterson Sr., Day.
We thank God for sending Reverend Patterson to us and his mission for New Hope is that we be a beacon light in the community. Upon his arrival, Reverend Patterson made known his objectives for accepting the call to lead this congregation were to glorify God, to unify the church, to sanctify the disciple, and to evangelize the lost by teaching and preaching the Word of God. Reverend Patterson’s desire for New Hope Baptist Church is to be that city that is set on a hill that cannot be hid. In order for New Hope to be the light in this dark community, each member has been challenged by our new pastor to undertake the three “T’s” – putting in Time, using their Talents, and paying their Tithes. In the short time Reverend Patterson has been our leader, the church has grown spiritually, numerically and financially. We as a congregation are being pushed to become a part of the community in which we worship.
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