New Hope Presbyterian Church in Orange has been named in the top 1001 churches in the Presbyterian family of churches for its growth and community involvement. The services on Saturday, June 9, were taped by the national synod. They also taped the helps ministries at New Hope, the evangelism team, and
other community impact ministries that define New Hope. This is in the midst of the decline of many mainstream congregations in the United States. They have witnessed a decline in the numbers of attendees, but New Hope is one that is reversing that trend through the nurturing of Pastor Goodjoin and the church members following her leading and loving.
The Los Ranchos Presbytery wanted a congregation that reflected the African American culture within their region. They contacted a relatively new Presbyterian clergy member, Rev. Chineta Goodjoin, to become organizing pastor for the new fellowship. She rose to the challenge, and with her husband Reginald commuted from Los Angeles during the beginning of the fellowship in 2007-2008 even though they were expecting their first child. This reporter met Rev. Goodjoin at an event and has followed her ascent in the ministry with enthusiasm and awe.
The media team moved unobtrusively through the church Saturday as the congregants worshiped, prayed and enjoyed the communion of fellowship with each other and the presence of the Lord.
Rev. Goodjoin preached on the spirit of humility.
New Hope has extended into the surrounding communities through keeping music alive in the Santa Ana School District. They host an annual musical concert to fund the project to keep music in the schools. They have worked with Willard Middle School and plan to incorporate other schools in the area. They have gathered for prayer in Old Town Orange in a “Circle of Prayer.” The fellowship is reaching across denominational lines as its focus is on making people their priority. Although the culture of the body of believers is decidedly African American, the congregants are diverse.
The congregants were blessed with the musical talents of Kathryn Bailey Cunningham at Saturday’s services. The fellowship meets in First Presbyterian Church of Orange and uses the space on Saturday evenings instead of Sundays.
Additional information about the ministries of New Hope may be accessed through their website: www.MynewHopePres.org