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The idea of establishing a vital mission in the community was first considered in 1993 by members of St. Paul's United Church of Christ and a committee was formed to research the possibility. After a 2-year study, the committee recommended that a counseling ministry, along with support groups, seminars, and other resources would be a valuable asset to the community.
In the summer of 1996, representatives of all Solanco churches were invited to attend a general interest meeting. Recommendations from the committee were presented along with an invitation to participate in the planning and vision of the ministry. In February 1997 the name New Hope was chosen.
In October 1997, covenants to support and partner with New Hope were received from the following churches:
The incorporated name of New Hope Community Life Ministry was adopted. In December 1997, the board of directors was organized and the first official Board of Directors meeting was held in January 1998.
In 2004, the New Hope Community Closet was started at TownsEdge as a means of stabilizing the budget. The Closet is under the same 501(c)3 as New Hope Community Life Ministry.
In June 2007, the bylaws were changed to adjust to the growth in the number of networked churches on the board. There are now 19 networked churches who covenant to contribute, pray and have a member on the New Hope Board. We also have other churches who we consider to be Supporting Churches.
In April 2010, the Community Closet moved to the building next to where they were at TownsEdge and more than doubled their space. Along with support for New Hope counseling the store continues to support other local ministries.
2011 was another year of growth and development at New Hope with the introduction to the "Friendship Counseling" course. This training and equipping program was not only a blessing to those who attended, but will be a blessing to their families, friends, and churches as they utilize the material and insight they received to help others.
Since 2011, New Hope has focused on deepening and broadening the outreach of the ministry. Bringing in several new churches to the Network, opening up to the possibility of satellite offices further into the Southern End, finding a Spanish speaking counselor, and possibly partnering with churches beyond, has helped us to see a bigger picture of how we can help those who are hurting. Deepening the connection with the business community, offering services, networking with them at several levels, while integrating with other ministries, is also vital to meet greater needs in our whole area.
New Hope's counseling ministry continues to grow and many people are being helped through the dedication of our caring, trained Christian counselors. Through support groups and other ministries, many have found hope for family issues and recovery from hurts such as divorce, death of a spouse or child, abuse, etc. New Hope continues to work together with churches to unify the work of Christ in our community.