History of Hope Christian Church:
“Loving God and Loving People to Jesus for Life” is the mission of Hope Christian Church of Columbia, Illinois. In 1993 Pastor Darrell Jones and his wife Ellen and two young children relocated to Columbia to lead a group of believers who had banded together to plant a Christian Church that would soon serve Monroe, St. Clair and Randolph Counties.
Twelve believers started a Bible Study at Columbia Lakes Apartments in 1991 with the goal of assembling a group that would provide the foundation of a new Bible believing Christian Church. Seven pastors from various Christian churches in St. Louis, St. Clair and Randolph Counties mentored this group. Coal Belt Christian Foundation provided funds that supported the early church as well as collections from 5th Sunday Rallies that were held in Christian Churches throughout the three counties.
Dan Brooke, an Elder from South County Christian Church, led a Bible Study and began training the founding group. Pastor Jones next joined with Kent Patterson, Pastor of the Cahokia Christian Church, to visit homes in Columbia, Waterloo and Millstadt inviting those who were not attending a church. The first church kick-off was held on September 26, 1993.
During the early years Hope’s congregation met in several locations including Todd Hall, Columbia City Park, Dasher Funeral Home (Main St. in Columbia) and Zahnow Elementary in Waterloo. In 1995, Hope obtained land on Route 3 and through the use of a self-funded bond program and the labor of individual members, a new building was completed and the first service was held in 1998.
The Hope ministry staff has grown to include: Darrell Jones-Lead Pastor, Dennis Jones-Associate Pastor, Josh Boyer-Youth Pastor, Dawn McLean-Director of Children's Ministries, Terry Betty-Children's Minister, Nancy Cassens-Executive Administrator, Sharon Eiskant-Director of Missions/Visitor Coordinator, Lynn Pittman-Director of Programming, Tanna Schablowsky-Administrative Assistant, Michelle Goodfellow-Ministry Associate, Missy Lenga-Custodian and John Lato-Custodian.
Today Hope Christian Church offers a variety of programs for the entire family including Sunday Worship and Sunday School/Adult Bible Fellowship (ABFs), Women’s Group, Men’s Group, Celebrate Recovery, and various youth activities including AWANA, FUEL, Cribs, Jubilation (a youth performance group) and a Preschool.Hope is founded on the teaching of Jesus Christ and is striving to bring Christ to those who do not have a personal relationship with Him.