Experiencing the Hope of Jesus at City Hope Church
City Hope Church was founded in 2021 by five local families and lead pastor Bobby Thompson and his family.
City Hope Church is on a mission to “invite everyday people to experience the hope of Jesus in every way,” Lead Pastor Bobby Thompson said. “We want people to see, feel, and know the goodness of God.”
The church meets weekly at John Paul II Catholic School, a location that has had a profound influence on the church’s identity and community engagement. “The location of the school is in an area where major growth is coming. This is the area we believe God is calling us to be,” Thompson said.
Celebrating Life Transformation
City Hope saw their first baptisms in March, where six people publicly professed their faith in Christ. The church partnered with Okatee Baptist Church to use their facilities to host a baptism and worship night. Steven Bell, Executive Pastor at City Hope, said, “Nearly 100 people showed up on a Friday night to celebrate all that God was doing. We baptized all generations, from kids to adults.”
Since then, the church has continued to grow and thrive, with another baptism night scheduled for this fall.
The Birth of City Hope
The inception of City Hope Church was inspired by a need for more evangelical churches in the Lowcountry. “We focus on being a church where you can ‘find your people.’ Over and over, we talk with individuals who are craving for relationships. We strive to help people connect with Jesus and each other,” Bell said.
The church’s mission is to invite everyday people to experience the hope of Jesus in every way. It’s about making faith accessible and relatable, allowing individuals to see, feel, and know the goodness of God in their daily lives. “No matter who you are or where you come from, people of all different walks and backgrounds find community at City Hope Church,” Lead Pastor Bobby Thompson said.
City Hope Church’s commitment to its community extends beyond its weekly gatherings. The church actively partners with two local groups: Operation Patriots FOB (OPFOB), a nonprofit that serves local veterans, first responders, and their families, and Hilton Head Christian Academy.
The partnership with Hilton Head Christian Academy enables the church to serve families, teachers, and students.
The Power of Prayer
From its inception, prayer has been integral to City Hope Church’s DNA. “One of our core values is ‘Powerful Prayer.’ It is a pillar that City Hope has been built upon, and we regularly model what it means to live a life of prayer,” Bell said.
However, establishing a church is not without its challenges. One hurdle was building a church without a full staff. But, as Thompson explains, “The Lord continued to bring people our way who had experience leading in specific areas of ministry. From there, we could establish lanes where it wasn’t just the pastor or the founding families doing everything.”
According to Bell, the South Carolina Baptist Convention Start Team played a pivotal role in City Hope Church’s progress of planting. SCBaptist “worked with our leadership to establish a clearer mission and value for the church. This was a huge win for City Hope,” Bell said. In addition, the Start Team works to partner church plants with other churches. “We believe that churches plant churches, and we are thankful that First Baptist Church of Hilton Head Island, under the leadership of Pastor Brett Myers, has served as their sending church during this process,” Tom Gore, SCBaptist Church Planting Strategist, said.
Future Goals and Growth
Looking ahead, City Hope Church envisions acquiring its own facility, as its current space is becoming too small to accommodate its growing congregation. Additionally, the church plans to establish a Hope Center, offering counseling and resources to meet the needs of the community.
“Because City Hope is living on mission, people’s lives are being forever changed because they are able to experience the hope of Jesus,” Thompson said.