Hopevale's 60th Anniversary
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Psalm 115:1, Joshua 3:15–3:17, Joshua 4:21–4:24, Hebrews 10:23
A celebration of God's faithfulness as Hopevale turns 60 this week
This week we celebrate our 60th anniversary, looking back to Hopevale's very first worship service on Sunday, September 13, 1959 at McBrite School in Saginaw Township. It's more than just a story of our humble origins, it's a story of God's great faithfulness to His people and His promises.
Psalm 115:1 NIV
1 Not to us, Lord, not to usbut to your name be the glory,because of your love and faithfulness.
Back in the late 1950's, Hopevale began with a core group of 12 people from a downtown Saginaw church, looking to establish a dynamic witness for Jesus Christ in the rapidly growing northwest area of Saginaw Township. In 1958, they purchased a four acre of tract of land at 5360 Shattuck Road. In 1959, they began meeting in homes on Thursday evenings for months with the goal of launching their very first public worship service before year-end. They identified the date and the location: Sunday, September 13, 1959, at McBrite School on Wieneke Road.
Origins of the Hopevale Name
They also decided on a name. We are named "Hopevale" in honor of the 11 American missionaries and one child martyred in the Philippines by Japanese soldiers during World War 2 on December 20, 1943. The place where these missionaries were discovered and eventually executed was a mountain hideaway they called “Hopevale” (or “valley of hope”) because it served as a safe haven for them in the midst of great fear and uncertainty. We are very honored to carry on the heritage of our name because it’s a constant reminder that we too as Jesus-followers are called to live lives of sacrificial faith for the cause of Christ just like they did, each in our own way and in our own generation.
God's Faithfulness in the Last 10 Years
While none of us were here at the beginning, some of us were a part of Hopevale a decade ago. Even if we just look at the last ten years, it’s incredible to see how our faithful God has shown up for us in amazing ways. Since 2009, we moved into our Saginaw Worship Center at Center and Tittabawassee despite the deepest recession since the Great Depression. We launched a second church location in Bay City, worshipping at John Glenn High School. We started our “above and beyond” Christmas Outreach Offering with you giving over $1,000,000 to Kingdom causes outside the four walls of our church, both locally and globally. Beyond all that, in these last ten years, we’ve seen numerous commitments of life-change in Jesus Christ and lasting spiritual significance happen here, including dozens of people of all ages publicly professing their faith in Jesus Christ through believers baptism. Chances are if you started coming here within the last ten years, you are one of those who’s been impacted by the ministry of this church and the sacrificial love of those before you.
Joshua 3:15-17 NIV
15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.
Joshua 4:21-24 NIV
21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
Celebrate God’s faithfulness in your past so that you can be faith-filled for your future.
The value of remembering the past is about so much more than just nostalgia, or sentimentality, or reminiscing about the good ol’ days. No, we look back so that we can move ahead.
As Christians our greatest strength comes not from twelve stones piled up, but rather from one stone rolled away.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate demonstration of God's faithfulness to us. If God can conquer death, then He surely can see us through anything and everything and bring us safely to the other side.
How do you need to trust God and His faithfulness this week?
Hebrews 10:23 NIV
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Responding to God's Faithfulness
For those who know, follow, and worship Jesus Christ, reclaim the hope you have in Him. Look back to the empty tomb so that you can move ahead with faith into your future.
For those who know about Jesus, but you don’t know Him personally (you have the facts, but you don’t have the faith), you can join the countless others over the last 60 years who moved from knowing about Jesus to be a Savior, to trusting Jesus personally to be their Savior. Wouldn’t it be great if you (on the week of our 60th anniversary) added your name to that list and crossed over from spiritual death to eternal life by trusting Jesus Christ to be your Savior?
For those who feel like you don’t know enough about Jesus yet to make such a commitment but you want to find out more, we’re glad you’re here. We want Hopevale to be a safe place for you to learn about Jesus and we're committed to walking alongside you in your spiritual searching.
Sundays at Hopevale
Join us on Sundays for worship at Hopevale. Check out our website for more information about our church.