Hello, my name is Anthony Thomas and I would like to welcome you to Hope Community Church. I know what many of you may be thinking, “Why start a church in an area that already has so many?” It’s a legitimate question, and to be honest it’s a question that I asked myself over two years ago when the Lord began to burden my heart for the people of this community. In the early months of 2010 the Lord began to press upon me the need for an Acts 2 church in the Cana area; however like many of you, I had trouble seeing the big picture - so I ran. I justified my disobedience by pointing out not only the number of churches in the area but the number of churches that were without pastors. So I sat aside the Lord’s call and pursed my own will. I began to speak at various churches that were in need of a pastor, after all, this made more sense not only to me and my family but to all those who were on the outside looking in. It seemed logical in my mind but it proved inconsistent with the Lord’s will. He simply would not grant me peace in regards to any of the churches that I attended.
In the spring of 2011 my pastor introduced me to a pilot program called ‘Communities of Hope’. ‘Communities of Hope’ was a new effort to equip and empower believers to start evangelistic small groups among their friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers in order to share the Hope that is found in Christ Jesus. For the first time, I understood what was being asked of me and I also knew where the Lord intended for this effort to take place. In April of 2011, I began to meet with a small group of individuals discussing the program and the logistics to make it all happen. After a few months of prayer and consideration the Lord opened the doors to St. Paul School and we determined that July would be the time to embark on this exciting new endeavor. We began inviting those who the Lord had laid on our hearts and on the first night we had 16 men, women, and children in attendance. Since that point we have not only grown in numbers but more importantly we have grown in our relationship with Christ. As for myself, there was finally peace, but I knew in my heart that this was only the beginning.
Through ‘Communities of Hope’ the Lord continued to confirm His call to plant a church that would serve Cana and the surrounding communities. As I began to share with others what had been laid on my heart it became apparent that the Lord was actively bringing a group of believers together that were united in accomplishing this great work for His kingdom. As this team began to meet and share their hopes for this community and the fears that accompanied such an overwhelming task it became evident that the Lord was planning to do a work far greater than any of us could ever imagine. This team has dedicated themselves to seeking God’s will in regards to the decisions surrounding Hope and is currently in the process of planning and preparing to serve the people of Cana and the surrounding communities. This dedicated team, along with Angie, my faithful wife of eleven years, and our young daughter, Mallie Grace are excited about what the Lord is doing and will do over the coming months and years.