Since our beginning, the name “New Hope” has helped identify who we are and what we’re about as a church. Below is our story. We believe it reflects the hand of God in establishing a community of believers committed to “restoring hope one life at a time”. Our story is also the backdrop for the same work that continues today.
New Hope is a Foursquare church that was started by Larry and Sue Spousta in 1979 with a couple of families who had a vision to reach East Salem with the love of Jesus Christ. They were meeting in a rented space at the time, but the Spoustas and the church elders felt God calling them to put down roots in a permanent location. So they purchased a property in East Salem at the corner of Cordon and Swegle roads, but with a church of primarily young families, the possibility of settling down seemed like a distant reality.
As some men from New Hope were traveling to a men’s retreat one weekend, they stopped for some lunch at the mountain mill town in the coastal range of Oregon called Valsetz, which is about 70 miles west of Salem. The little town was owned by a logging company that was closing down, and had to demolish every structure. So they wanted to see it, and take some pictures before it was gone.
While they were there, they noticed the brand new high school building, and had an idea. They wondered if they could move it down the mountain, and put it back together to serve as the New Hope church facility. So after bidding on the $1.2 million structure, they purchased the building for $20,000! The church was then given 90 days to move it down the mountain. In the summer of 1984 the people of New Hope went to work. They dismantled the building, and hauled it in pieces back to Salem within the 90-day period before the bulldozers came to demolish it. They needed it not to rain on the dirt roads so they could get the trucks in and out, and for the entire 3 months it did not rain in an area that was one of the rainiest in the nation at the time. It was just one of the many miracles in the whole process.
Pastor Larry Spousta said, “It is significant that we practice a work of redemption in a building that itself was redeemed.” New Hope is not just a building; it is a story of redemption and restoration. That story continues in the many lives that have been rebuilt and restored over the last 33 years. Each life story is woven into our DNA as a church. As we gather to worship, serve, and grow, we do so in a place that is a constant reminder of God’s miraculous redemption power. A place, and a people we call…New Hope.
New Hope is filled with people who’s lives are symbols of hope that God can do miracles in and through anyone. Our goal is to live with an honor that welcomes God’s presence to continue coming and working those miracle stories in our lives. Our belief is that you’ll encounter that environment when you come to New Hope. Here are a few examples of how that looks at our church:
|• Honor allows you to be real in your relationships! You can come as you are and let others encourage you towards completeness in God.
• Honor allows you to laugh.At New Hope we try not to take ourselves too seriously, because we’ve acknowledged that none of us are perfect! So we can relax a little, and have some fun! Laughter and fun are a gift from God – we enjoy that gift together!
• Honor allows you to get healed. We know that each person comes broken and with needs, but God is making us whole. So we see that heavenly potential in each other, and rather than dwelling on our past we encourage and help each other towards wholeness in God.
• Honor sets you free to worship. Because there is a safety among us, we are set free to worship God wholeheartedly, and His presence is able to come and accomplish some great things in our lives.
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