“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a Living Hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
In early 1998, a small but growing home Bible study group decided to organize as an official Wesleyan church. Based upon 1 Peter 1:3, they chose the name Living Hope Wesleyan Church. They quickly outgrew two homes and soon decided they needed a larger facility in which to worship. They rented Andrews Christian Academy and held their first service there on April 5, 1998. On June 25, Devon Smith preached his first sermon as the church’s first pastor.
Since a more permanent church facility was needed, a prayerful search was begun for an existing building to purchase. In 1999, the Lord answered that prayer by providing the facilities used by the Cedar Rapids Friends Church on the corner of Boyson Road and Council Street. Located on 3.85 acres of property, this beautiful facility became that of Living Hope Wesleyan Church on September 1, 1999. On October 17, 1999, the Reverend Ron McClung, Iowa-Minnesota District Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, dedicated the building to the use and glory of God!
In April, 2000, Pastor Devon accepted the call of a church in Arizona. He finished his ministry at Living Hope on June 4. Subsequently, Bruce Howell accepted the call to become the new pastor and assumed that position on June 25. In the summer of 2002, Pastor Bruce retired, and Dale Holloway accepted a call to become the next pastor. He began his ministry on September 1, 2002. Exactly five years later, Brenda Olmsted was hired as the church’s first youth pastor. Pastor Brenda had an incredible ministry with our teens. In the spring of 2013 Living Hope went through a major pastoral change; Pastor Dale Holloway announced his retirement and Pastor Brenda Olmstead resigned her ministry as well. Pastor Chopper Brown accepted the call to be Living Hope’s fourth lead pastor, that same summer in July 2013.
Living Hope continues to be a growing congregation where God’s Word is taught and preached clearly, and people’s lives are being changed. By God’s grace, Living Hope Church will continue to grow and be a major influence for Christ in the Cedar Rapids area for years to come.