1991-1994 Origin, Strategic Plan, Development and Implementation
Upon graduation from Southeastern Louisiana University in the field of economics, Pastor Mark B. Mitchell sensed the call of God to do graduate work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In the Spring of 1991 he earned his Masters of Divinity Degree with a concentration in Pastoral Ministries. Once accepted to the seminary, an opportunity for a staff position was available at Williams Boulevard Baptist Church (WBBC). Pastor Mitchell interviewed for the position and the members of WBBC voted unanimously making Pastor Mitchell a part of the team at WBBC.
His primary ministry was to plant a new work in South Kenner. The strategic plan for this new work incorporated a sports ministry used as an outreach to attract teenagers and home cell studies to build relationships with families of the community. In addition, personal evangelism was used to save the lost, and gospel festivals and church sponsored block parties were used to draw hundreds of people to inform the masses of the new church work started in their area. The result of this Christian activity aided Pastor Mitchell in the development of a formal worship service in a storefront building that was primarily attended by children where the first offering raised was $23. The church met on Sunday morning for worship and Friday night for bible study. Through meaningful worship, Pastor Mitchell noticed many parishioners who struggled spiritually, financially, mentally, socially and emotionally in their walk with God. It is at this point the vision was given to Pastor Mitchell for various ministries that would target people and their plight. The word about this ministry began to spread rapidly. Many who visited were led by God to join the Family of Hope to accomplish the great work that God had assigned to this local church… and the Lord was with us.
1995-2000 Maturity/Growth Stage
At this point in the history of the church, God moved through intimate fellowship among believers, compassion for the needy, and a spirit of unity that would propel the ministry to the next level. The church identified this level as Christian maturity. The Family of Hope,during this time, purchased an existing church building to expand its ministry services to the general public. Also, the Christian faith-based organization, i.e., the City of Refuge Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center Inc., Youth for Change and Hope Child Care, experienced growth, and mature leaders responded to the call of God by ministering to the social needs of the community. During the maturity growth stage, the Senior Pastor encouraged the members to make a commitment to grow in their relationship with God personally and corporately… and the Lord was with us.
2000-2005 Test of Faith Stage
!is period of time proved to be a true test of faith for the Family of Hope in five areas. Because of numerical growth: 1) overcrowding was an issue; 2) the ministry stepped out on faith and incorporated multiple services; 3) the ministry started Children’s Church to create additional space; 4) parking became an issue, so the ministry started a parking attendant ministry; and 5) the worst national disaster to hit the United States occurred in the form of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Better than 65% of parishioners relocated to other states and New Hope was left with a remnant of people to continue the vision God revealed to the Family of Hope. What a true test of faith…but the Lord was with us.
2005 – Present Running with the Vision — Post Katrina and Rita
The Senior Pastor and the remnant of the Family of Hope returned to rebuild the city that the name of God might be exalted. The city would be rebuilt through the vision that God had given the Family of Hope. This vision centers around major development projects: 1) Family Life Worship Center; 2) Multi Purpose Educational Center; 3) Children’s World; 4) Children’s Fun Land; and 5) The purchase of one square block of property. The Senior Pastor and the New Hope leaders are poised, prepared and prayerful that the vision in its entirety will come to pass…and the Lord is with us.
In 2012, the Lord expanded the scope of reach to the New Orleans area and now New Hope Community Church has multiple campuses. Our East campus allows us to occupy a sanctuary, school and corporate office space. While the West campus is our flagship ministry.