MOUNT CARMEL – The congregation at Hope Fellowship Church has been hard at work fundraising recently for an important purpose; a new roof for their church.
Pastor Daniel Moore said that the needs of the church were there when the congregation moved in, but how they acquired the building makes the fundraising work the effort.
“Two years ago, we were where Big Jon's Lunch Box is now,” said Moore. “We had been there, renting, for about 25 years (Moore had been there about 12 of those years). What happened was the owner of the building was selling, and we had to get out. We had a month to figure out what we were going to do. We didn't know what to do and we looked at different options.”
Moore said that he had been preaching at the church on Landes on Sunday nights for a congregation that didn't have a pastor for about a year and a half.
“I was just coming over and, you know, it was a place to preach,” he said. “We talked to the congregation about possibly renting the auditorium on a Sunday when they weren't using it possibly. When that didn't work out, we talked about buying it. We are a small congregation and buying it just wasn't an option either.”
When they came back for the last meeting, Moore was made an offer he couldn't refuse.
“Dale Halfacre, Wanda Lane and a few others of the small congregation that was here told us they didn't want to rent it, they didn't want to sell it, they wanted to give it to us,” said Moore. “The next morning they signed all of the paperwork over and gave us the building. I have never heard of that happening, ever.”
Moore said that God blessed them with the building and they were in within the month they needed to be.
“You can call a miracle whatever you want to, but I call that a miracle,” said Moore. “But we realized about six months in that the roof was leaking in the auditorium. We had a few other little places that were dripping here and there and we knew the roof would probably be a thing, but we didn't know how soon.”
The church began a roofing fund in April 2019, to raise $7,900, which was quoted to Moore for the repairs needed.
“That was a good deal,” he said. “From April until now, we have raised $5,600 so that is good for a congregation of 25 or 35 people. God has really blessed us, people have been generous.”
The church has just held its second yard sale, they had two bake sales and were at Ag Days with Nancy Garrett's Big Tacos. Moore said that was wildly popular and very tremendous to be a part of.
“Never in my wildest imagination would we have come this far,” said Moore. “We have another bake sale coming up. The plan is for the crews to begin work on the roof this week. We will have a small remainder to pay on that, but hope we can raise it with the fundraisers we have to come.”
Coming up soon for Hope Fellowship Church is the Holiday of Hope Dinner.
“This is a dinner for anybody in town who needs it or wants it,” said Moore. “This will be our 14th or 15th year of doing it, and it will be between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Other ways that Hope Fellowship give back to the community that has been so gracious to them is a once monthly food giveaway.
“This is the second Saturday of every month,” said Moore. “We feed anywhere between 20 to 35 families a month. That is pretty consistent. I preach at Bridges of Hope, which is run from the Pentecostal Church on Second St., which I have done the past six years. We help wherever we can, this is a working congregation. These people believe in bending their elbows and their knees and backs to get things done. I have pastored a few other places and have never seen people that work this hard.”
Hope Fellowship has three services a week. There is a Sunday morning service at 10 a.m.
“Every first Sunday of the month we add a breakfast to that,” said Moore. “If someone wants to come to that, they can have breakfast first. We cook it and serve it and they are welcome to do that.”
On Sunday evening, there is a 6 p.m. service and on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. the church has a traditional bible study.
“That bible study follows another meal,” said Moore. “Look, in all honesty there is one thing that every human being has to do, and usually enjoys doing, and that is eating. A lot of the things we do at Hope Fellowship are based on food. Did you ever notice that you can't eat with someone you are mad at? You either lose your appetite or want to get up or leave, you can't do it. Fellowship is based around food, it is a human thing.”