In the fall of 2017, Good Hope Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC needed a change. Despite a 200-year legacy of preaching, evangelism, and service, Good Hope was on a trajectory of joining the 1,000 SBC churches that close their doors every year. With hope for the future of their church, Good Hope started conversations with the Pillar Network about replanting.
After the church heard a presentation about replanting from the network, I was sent to preach and give a vision for the church the following Sunday. On January 28, 2018, Good Hope voted to partner with the Pillar Network, welcoming new leadership and a core team sent by the local network churches. The task was large, and we hit the ground running the last Sunday of January.
Under the guidance of Pastor Dwayne Milioni, who serves on Pillar’s board, my wife and I started the process of building a team while I was simultaneously preaching, handling administrative tasks, and providing member care. The Lord brought together a team of people I didn’t expect. Some stayed for a short time until the Lord called them elsewhere; others became our partners in the ministry, helping us bear this sweet burden since the beginning. Little did we know that as God was calling people to join us, he had also been working in the hearts of other churches.
Faith Baptist Church, a strong church pastored by Steven Wade just five minutes away from our building, came alongside our church in early spring 2018. Through the partnership of the Pillar network, Faith Baptist Church, and Open Door Church, we began to see new families catch the vision of replanting in Youngsville. We received people and pastoral care from Dwayne Milioni, Steven Wade, and their churches, displaying how Southern Baptist churches should work together: sending their best and giving freely of their resources to see healthy churches planted – or in our case, replanted. We have even served our community together, showing that the
Throughout the spring and summer, we were able to lay out a plan of action for us to replant. There were many questions, and we made a lot of mistakes, but God’s grace led us through that transition. At the end of July in 2018, Good Hope Baptist Church voted overwhelmingly to replant and become Covenant Hope Church. This was all God’s grace, to see new life breathed into a church to once again serve, minister, and proclaim the gospel in a growing and unreached community.
We have focused on a few things as we think about “Who is Covenant Hope Church?” We desire to be a church full of mature disciples who impact their world for Christ. Making disciples, the aim of every church, is at the core of who we are. We believe that the gospel changes people, and gospel people change the world. We are committed to growing disciples who can reach their neighbor, coworker, or friend with the good news of the gospel, while also living like family in deep relationships for the purpose of growing together in Christ. We believe that by discipling now we will set a trajectory that will have lasting kingdom impact in Youngsville, North Carolina, and around the world. Good Hope Baptist Church was over 200 years old; the question will now be: how many lay people, missionaries, pastors, and church (re)plants can Covenant Hope Church train and send out over the next 200 years? The task is large, but the Kingdom is worth it, and the King is with us.