As we commence commemorating the 95th year of Christian service of New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, N.J. we pause to reflect upon our journey. Our first task is to honor God and to acknowledge those saints who came before us; for we stand on their shoulders and enjoy the fruit of their labor.
In the Church anniversary journal entitled "Celebrating 75 years 1920--1995" we are told that New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack is a split from Mount Olive Baptist Church. It was organized July 2, 1920 and received recognition of the North Jersey Permanent Council on July 18th of the same year. One of the first concerns was choosing a name... New Hope Baptist Community Church was adopted.
The church cornerstone indicates that New Hope was organized under the name New Hope Baptist Community Church in 1920; but was incorporated on January 11, 1921 as New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, N. J. Said meeting of the Church to approve incorporation was held the seventh day of January 1921 at Holt's Hall Berdan Place at which time the following officers were elected: President: James P. E. Love; Secretary: Frederick Himmed. Five trustees were elected: John L. Brooks (3 years), Albert L. Washington (two years), Edward White (2 years), William Russell (1 year), and Samuel Walker (1 year).
For two years, (1920 - 1922) services were held in Holt's Hall on Berdan place and Railroad Avenue. The numbers were few but the dedication was tremendous. They did not have a building in which to worship; but what was lacking in physical accommodations was more than compensated for by the spiritual energy exemplified by the small but loyal group. Our organizing Pastor Rev. J. P. E. Edgar Love was a man inspired by almighty God with much fortitude and an abundance of foresight. It was through his skill and genius aided by the official board that the Church acquired the site upon which we now worship. Through Dr. Love's dreams and long cherished hopes the present edifice was erected in 1922.
A visionary ahead of his time, he recognized Black power as early as 1920 when he sent for Black Carpenters from his native state of N.C. who came to Hackensack to build our beloved New Hope. After 19 years of faithful service (1920 - 1939) Pastor Love saw fit to resign and was elected Pastor emeritus in May 1939.
The Reverend Fred Harris served as interim Pastor until the summer of 1939 when Reverend Leonard E. Terrell of Washington D.C. began his watch. Under his leadership, the membership voluntarily made many improvements including the purchase of apartments in the rear of the Church which became known as Terrell Annex that now serves as Church offices. Reverend Terrell served New Hope for seven years before he accepted the Pastorate of Bethel Institutional Church in Jacksonville, Florida
Once again an interim Pastor, Reverend Charles Guthrie, along with the officers, kept the pulpit supplied with ministers until June 1947. Not long after that, The Reverend W.H.E. Smith from the Condon Street Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island was called to the New Hope pastorate. Rev. Smith slipped into eternity on December 27, 1961.
In April of 1963, under the leadership of The Reverend Richard H. Puryear who came from Peekskill, New York, the parsonage was remodeled and the church was redecorated both inside and out. Reverend Puryear's pastorate terminated April 9,1970. He went on to form Trinity Baptist Church of Hackensack on April 12, 1970
In September 1970 Reverend Moses A. Knott, Jr. of Hackettstown, New Jersey became interim minister. He was installed as Pastor, On April 13, 1975. Under his pastorate several properties were purchased. The church increased in membership under the leadership of Reverend Knott and was actively engaged in civic and community affairs.
After nearly two decades of faithful service Reverend Knott accepted a call to another field of service. After Rev. Knott resigned, Rev. Vivian A. Williams an associate minister and the first woman to be ordained by the New Hope congregation, served as supply preacher when called upon by the Deacons. She also married, baptized and funeralized congregants, dedicated children to the Lord and presided over the serving of communion. . It was her hope to be called to Pastor the congregation but it was not to be. Reverend John W. Brown was elected by the congregation to serve as interim pastor until March of 1990.
The Reverend Christopher R. Battle, Sr. of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was called to New Hope on April 16, 1990. He initiated the anniversary recognition of those members serving more than fifty years. It was he who organized The Golden Gems of Wisdom (an organization for seniors and retirees). Reverend Battle resigned in 1992.
On May 7, 1993 New Hope Baptist Church voted unanimously to call as the seventh pastor the then Reverend Dr. M. Frances Manning. She was installed September 19, 1993 and became the first African American Woman to pastor an American Baptist Church in Northern New Jersey.
As of this writing, Pastor Manning Fontaine continues to lead through her strong emphasis on service, prayer, teaching and discipleship training/ equipping the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry: Matthew, 28; 18-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded".
God has poured out his blessing upon NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH throughout its history and continues to bless us collectively as we mobilize for Ministry in the New Millennium. As we can see, New Hope has long held God's favor. He has blessed us both financially as we strive to become a tithing congregation and spiritually.
In faith we give honor and glory to the Most High God. We continue to build upon the good of the past, rejoicing, honoring and thanking those on whose shoulders we proudly stand looking to the hills from whence comes our help knowing that our help comes from the Lord. We honor them for their steadfast faithfulness. We thank them for our rich heritage and the tradition of continued growth and building. They established a tradition of prayerfully moving forward through the empowerment of GOD'S WORD. We rejoice in knowing we also can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
As we continue into the new Millennium, in the year 2014, albeit challenged by the downturn in the economy, we embrace the future prayerfully, sacrificially and joyfully, all mixed with an air of expectancy of God's abundant blessings. Our faith is in no less than the God who has been our help in ages past and our hope for years to come. THE YEARS WERE/ARE NOT/AND WE WILL NOT BE SILENT!!!
We will continue in our quest to impact our culture for Christ. HITHERTO has the Lord helped us.