The story of Richland Covenant Church (now New Hope Church) began in the old Richland blacksmith shop on N 32nd Street, in 1944. Pastor Gordon and Lorraine Holmen came to Richland and organized that small, passionate group of believers worshipping in the blacksmith shop. They just needed a pastor and leadership.
Pastor Gordon was a perfect fit. Thus began a fellowship that would make a lasting positive impact on Richland. Pastor Gordon planted hopeful DNA into the Congregation. Gordon would say, “Jesus wants his Church to grow because God loves all people, and nothing shall prevail against the Church!” That original DNA continues to be lived out in the life of the congregation.
New Hope has remained faithful to the founding vision of Jesus through good times, and in hard times. On March 1, 1946, the congregation officially affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church of America.
By 1953 the growing congregation made plans to build a new church home of its own. It was time to move out of the old blacksmith shop. The congregation had outgrown its first “shell.” The congregation paid $250 for a large piece of property on East M-89. The first sanctuary and buildings, and soon a parsonage, were constructed on this property in 1953 and 1954.
The congregation continued to outgrow several buildings as it moved forward. Also of note, many fine, faithful pastors served the ministry of the church through these years.
In 1966 crowded conditions once again led to the construction of a larger sanctuary and enlarged buildings used for Bible studies and group meetings. On September 1, 1991, with regular attendance now approaching 200, the new sanctuary and buildings that the congregation still calls home were dedicated.
In October of 1996 the congregation celebrated 50 years of ministry. Several former pastors returned to celebrate the 50th year of the life of the Church, including, beloved planter-Pastor Gordon, who once again reminded the congregation of the founding dream: “We’re not done–Jesus wants His church to grow! …There are so many people who have yet to experience the Love of God!”
The congregation changed the name of the church to “New Hope Covenant Church” in 2002. Our purpose in changing the name was to better reflect the congregation’s positive mission to see more people come to find the love and energy of Jesus Christ, who brings new hope, meaning, and purpose to those who discover His love.
As of early 2015, the congregation is dreaming again and growing again. Once again we are living into our hopeful DNA to be a life-affirming church. We encourage you to come and join us as we continue on this adventure that began in a little blacksmith shop in Richland.