Brief Timeline History of New Hope United Methodist Church:
1st year history - 12/14/1964 – Survey was conducted to see who would be interested in becoming charter members of the new church. 144 families totaling 535 persons indicated a desire to become charter members
Naming the church - In the early months of 1965 it was the hope of the committee that our new church would serve the community in such a way that “new hope” would emanate from that fellowship hence the name “New Hope” was adopted as the official name of the church.
May 1965 - First congregational meeting held in the Grace Methodist Church Basement. Attending the meeting was Rev. Basil Grimes, Joe and Joan Clay, and Vernon and Mildred Doty.
June 1965 - First worship service held at 8:00 a.m. at the extreme east end of the church property by a large oak tree. Minister at this time was Reverend Basil Grimes.
July 1965 - Ground breaking ceremony – approximately 30 people attended
September 1965 - First indoor service of the New Hope congregation was held in the Acanthus Lodge. There were 53 people present. Services would be held here until the completion of the building.
February 1966 - Consecration Sunday for the new building. 110 members were present.
Fall 1989 - New sanctuary began. First Sunday in new sanctuary, March 4, 1990.
March 1996 - First Hand of Luke meal prepared, serving meals at Central Iowa Shelter & Services on the 14th of each month.
Fall 1999 - TGIW (Thank God it is Wednesday) children’s program started
Fall 2000 - B.L.A.S.T. was organized (Believing, Learning, Assisting, Serving Teens). Jr. & Sr. High youth groups.
December 2000 - Puppets Troupe performs first Dinner Theatre.
January 2003 - Capital Stewardship begins for the Ruby Chapel and New Life Center
July 2003 - Quilting Group Begins. Planning of the first cookbook begins.
April 2004 - Groundbreaking of New Life Center.
May 2004 - Dedication of the Ruby Chapel – In Memory of Ruby Wells.
October 2005 - Contemporary Worship begins in the New Life Center.
August 2011 - Meals from the Heartland – needed 120 volunteers as well as $3600 to cover ingredients. We packed 23,112 meals.
August 2011 - Johnston “River of Life” ministry begins at Beaver Creek Elem School.
April 2017 - Johnston “River of Life” charters as a new United Methodist Church for Johnston, Iowa
New Hope Pastors:
1965-1967: Rev. Basil Grimes
1967-1970: Rev. Bill Trembly
1970-1978: Rev. Dean Fullerton
1978-1982: Rev. Romaine Barber
1982- 1984: Rev. Egon Gerdes
1984-1997: Rev. Robert (Bob) Cook
1997-2014: Rev. Neil Cross
2010-2018: Rev. Craig Ferguson, Outreach Pastor
2014-2019: Rev. Jon Gaul
2019-Present: Rev. Lilian Gallo Seagren