Main Points:

  • Hope UMC was one of two new church plants that was announced at the 2022 Virginia Annual Conference.
  • The vision for Hope UMC is to be a multicultural and multigenerational church in Vienna, VA.

By the Rev. Sammy Addo-Donkoh

Hope United Methodist Church in Vienna, Virginia, held a worship service on Sunday, September 25, 2022, marking its official launch. Hope is the newest satellite congregation of Ghana Wesley UMC. They meet in the building of the former Epiphany UMC, which closed in 2019.

A congregation of 168 gathered to sing, pray, dance, and celebrate Hope’s arrival in the Vienna community. Bishop Sharma Lewis, resident bishop of the Virginia Annual Conference; the Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert, Northern Virginia District superintendent; Dr. Karen McElfish, district lay leader;  the Rev. Dr. Jeff Mickle, former Alexandria District superintendent; th eRev. Dr. Emmanuel Nkrumah, pastor of Ghana Wesley UMC; Mr. Ed Sommers, representing the Vienna Mayor’s office; along with a number of other church members and local leaders came together to celebrate the launch.

Mickle preached on Nehemiah 2:17-20, “Let us Arise and Build.” That is what Hope is doing. Epiphany UMC had discerned that it should close, leaving behind a building that currently houses two preschools. After that closure, lightning struck the sanctuary, but rather than selling the property, the Arlington District Mission Board rebuilt and later turned the property over to Ghana Wesley. Along the way, we see God’s guiding hand leading through loss and grief to a new start.

Beginning in July 2021, a small congregation from Ghana Wesley began holding services in this new location, and in July 2022, I was appointed to serve as pastor for the newly formed Hope UMC.

The vision of Hope UMC is to be a multicultural and multigenerational church, a congregation that hopes to connect and bring the life-changing hope of Jesus Christ to the community of Vienna. They have answered the call to “Arise and Build” as they seek to offer worship, small groups, prayer groups, outreach events, mentoring and all the means of grace.

In the building of a closed congregation, Hope rises. From the ashes of a burned sanctuary, Hope rises. And now, in that same building, this congregation rises to build a diverse community to offer the hope and love of Jesus Christ to their neighbors. Vienna needs Hope, and thanks be to God, Hope is there.

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