About the New Hope Baptist Church
“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not get weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was from God. The Word was given to Rev. Dr. Albert J. Lightfoot, Jr., to organize a church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for God’s lost sheep that needed “New Hope” on this side of glory. Recognizing the vision, Dr. Lightfoot chaired a meeting on December 12, 1965. With the assistance of 13 other Christians, New Hope Baptist Church was formed. The meeting was held in the home of Robert and Esther Williams, at 1041 Wall Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The founding members were Rev. Albert J. Lightfoot, Jr., Sis. Catherine Lightfoot, Mother Mary Moore, Sis. Henrietta Moore, Sis. Judge, Sis. Viola Swayne, Bro. Carlton Thomas, Bro. Charles D. White, Sis. Annie L. White, Bro. Robert Williams, Sis. Esther Williams, special invitee Deacon Samuel Taylor of Second Baptist Church, Ypsilanti, and two honorary charter members: Sis. Hattie Davis and Sis. Odessa Robinson of St. Mark Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama.
The New Hope family worshipped for 6 years in the Ann Arbor YMCA. Then God, who is ever faithful, blessed New Hope with a building that sold tombstones at 218 Chapin Street. God moved from tombstones to “living stones” as the membership increased to 111. As the church began to grow, it added structural improvements that included expansion of the sanctuary, inclusion of the Maezella Hall, new office and classrooms, and the addition of real estate on Chapin and Miller streets. Church membership included many students and young people throughout the community, and the church roll swelled to 653.
The ministry of the New Hope Church also began to grow. The church entered into a unique partnership with the University of Michigan Health System to create the New Hope Clinic which administers community health care. In addition, the A. J. Lightfoot Senior Center was established and Dr. Lightfoot played a critical role in the founding of both the Huron Valley District Association and the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Ministerial Alliance, for which he served as Moderator and President for many years.
On Sunday, November 26, 2006, God called our Beloved Pastor of 41 years from labor to reward. Pastor Lightfoot mentored 26 sons and associates in the ministry, one of whom, Rev. Rodrick K. Green, was installed on January 20, 2008 as only the second Pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church.
Rev. Green has continued the great work begun by Dr. Lightfoot. Since his installation, over 150 people have joined the church or rededicated their lives to Christ, many of whom coming as candidates for baptism. In addition, ministries such as the Marriage Ministry, Christian Book Club and Friday Night Fellowship are expansions of our effort at community outreach. Rev. Green’s concern for young people has created an explosion in the growth of our Youth Church and he was recently recognized by the State Baptist Convention as 2010 District Pastor of the Year.
As you can see, New Hope is moving on and we’re still, the “Best in the West”. We are proud of our past but looking forward to the future. Like Paul, we must “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”, Philippians 3.14, knowing that “eyes haven’t seen and ears haven’t heard…the things that God hath prepared for them that love him”. I Corinthians 2.9.
Theme for 2017
A Saved Church
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation