The regular schedule of Sunday school and Bible class together with Divine Services began on December 17, 1950, at 9:30 am and 10:30 am respectively. 51 were in attendance for the Worship Services.
Hope officially called Rev. Paul E. Kolch April 16, 1951 to become Hope’s first permanent resident pastor. The call was accepted May 6, 1951.
In February of 1952 the congregation purchased a 5.3214-acre site on Portage Lakes Drive. On June 21, 1953 ground was broken for the construction of the first unit. Ground was broken for Hope’s parsonage, located on the North East corner of the church property on June 19, 1955.
On April 9, 1974 there was a disastrous fire in which Hope lost all of its original building, except for the bell tower. The rest sustained heavy smoke and water damage.
Time again marched on and in April 1988, a chairlift was installed for handicapped worshippers.
In September 1988, Hope’s preschool began with nine students. The first teacher was Deanna Baker.
In August 1989, the ceiling fans, gates and fence were installed around the property.
On January 3, 1993 the stained glass windows in the sanctuary were dedicated.
On February 25, 1996, Rev. Jack A. Kozak, from Detroit, Michigan was installed as pastor of Hope.
In August of 1997 our pre-school was re-opened after being closed for several years. Director was Mrs. Holly Dennis, assisted by Mrs. Denise Hodgkinson. Our program has grown and expanded to the point where it is now a Preschool for 3 year olds, and a Pre-Kindergarten for 4 year olds. Our current staff is Mrs. Jackie Langenek, Director. She is assisted by Mrs. Denise Hodgkinson.
On November 22, 1998, an electronic organ was installed in the balcony and dedicated on December 6, 1998.
The new pipe organ and several of the pipes were delivered in October 2011. After Christmas, the rest of the pipes were delivered and installed. We were without an organ from October -December 2011 and had to rely on a grand piano to support the liturgy.
Now our congregation has passed it’s 65th anniversary. Three our charter members are still very active at Hope as of 2016. We are now seeing the second, and even third generation of our families being confirmed in the Saving Faith at Hope. Let this be our prayer as we continue to be faithful stewards of God’s Word and Sacraments in the years ahead:
“Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we can not see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your Hand is leading us and Your Love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”