Students traveled as far as Chile during the academy's annual week of service.
Hope Community Church, Launched Amid Pandemic, Reaches ‘Company’ Milestone
Member resilience and dedication to youth ministry pave the way for church growth.
Photo courtesy of Ken Tai
Despite the challenges of being established during the pandemic, the Hope Community church in Bear, Del., has achieved “company” status, having successfully grown its membership to over 50 members. Jerry Lutz, Chesapeake Conference president, was present at the church on March 5 to officially congratulate members on reaching the milestone.
Founded as a “group” in December 2020, Hope Community faced unusual challenges for a new church as the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to hold worship services online via Zoom for the first eight months of the church’s existence. Nonetheless, members remained resilient, and in August 2021, the congregation held their first in-person worship service with the installation of their pastor, Ricardo Cala.
“I have seen God’s hands in the work of love in each member of the Hope Community family,” Cala said. “They truly are a group of selfless individuals who are willing, open, and actively bringing Jesus in a holistic manner to everyone that walks in the doors.”
The church’s growth can be attributed in part to its strong focus on youth ministry. Ken Tai, one of the congregation’s head elders, expressed his enthusiasm for the church’s progress, stating, “I’m excited about the way we are impacting more and more young people, especially teenagers and college students in our community. I’m excited to see what God has in store for our church in this ministry.”
Hope Community’s achievement of “company” status marks a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the prayerful perseverance of its members. As the church continues to focus on youth and young adult ministry, the congregation eagerly anticipates further growth.
“I am excited that we have made progress and that we are now a ‘company,'” Tai said. “We are looking forward to growing so we can become a ‘church.'”