1920 – 1939
New Hope was organized on July 2, 1920 under the name New Hope Community Church and received recognition of the North Jersey Permanent Council on July 18th of that same year (that’s how we got our anniversary date). New Hope was formed out of Mount Olive Baptist Church, Hackensack, New Jersey.
A meeting of the Church to approve incorporation was held January 7, 1921 at Holt’s Hall on Berdan Place, whereby New Hope Community Church was incorporated as New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, New Jersey.
The founding Pastor, Rev. J.P.E. Edgar Love, was elected as president, and a secretary and five trustees were also elected. It is said that Rev. Love was a man inspired by God with an abundance of foresight, dreams and hopes and that he actually sent for Black Carpenters from his native state, North Carolina, to come to Hackensack to build our beloved New Hope.
They were met with financial challenges and other obstacles, but through prayer and a desire to glorify God, they persevered until this edifice was erected in 1922.
Rev. Love served as Pastor for 19 years. He retired in 1939 and was elected Pastor Emeritus in May 1939.
1939 – 1946
Rev. Fred Harris served as interim Pastor for a few months until Rev. Leonard E. Terrell of Washington, DC became the second Pastor in the summer of 1939.
The building in the back where the current church offices are was called Terrell’s Annex. Rev. Terrell served for seven years until he accepted a pastorate position in Florida.
1947 – 1961
Another interim pastor, Rev. Charles Guthrie and the members supplied pulpit ministers until June 1947, when Rev. W.H.E. Smith from Rhode Island was called as the third Pastor of New Hope. Rev. Smith organized Children’s Church, The Men’s Club and Helping Hands Guild. Rev. Smith, after an illness, slipped into eternity in December 1961.
1963 – 1970
In 1963, Rev. Richard H. Puryear from Peekskill, New York became the fourth Pastor. There was more remodeling and decorating. He pastored for seven years and went on to form Trinity Baptist Church, Hackensack, New Jersey in April 1970.
1970 – 1989
In September 1970, Rev. Moses A. Knott, Jr. of Hackettstown, New Jersey became interim pastor and went on to be installed as the fifth Pastor in April 1975. Several properties were purchased, interior improvements were made in the sanctuary including new church pews and choirs were organized and some were reorganized.
SHARE (Self Help and Resource Exchange) program was organized and a program to feed the homeless was organized as well.
The church increased in membership, and we were actively engaged in civic and community affairs. After nearly two decades of service, Rev. Knott accepted a call to another field of service and then went on to become the Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, East Orange, New Jersey.
Rev. Vivian A. Williams from Bronx, New York, served as an Associate Minister and was the first woman to be ordained by New Hope. Rev. Williams served as pulpit supply preacher until Rev. John W. Brown was elected to serve as interim pastor.
1990 – 1991
In April 1990, Rev. Christopher R. Battle, Sr. of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was called to serve as the sixth Pastor of New Hope.
Rev. Battle initiated the anniversary recognition of those members serving more than fifty years and organized The Golden Gems of Wisdom (seniors and retirees). Rev. Battle resigned in 1991.
1993 – 2016
In May 1993, New Hope voted unanimously to call as the seventh Pastor, Rev. Dr. M. Frances Manning of New York City.
Rev. Manning was the first African American woman to pastor an American Baptist Church in Northern New Jersey. Pastor Manning had strong emphasis on service, prayer, teaching and discipleship training. She established the seven pillars of discipleship at New Hope:
Praise and Worship – The music department was revamped, a liturgical dance ministry was formed and she encouraged participation of lay people in worship.
Learning – Instituted New Members and extended New Members classes, produced curriculum training guides for new members and Deacon training and established School of Discipleship Training.
Mission and Evangelism – Began church school outreach class, initiated the annual outdoor tent revival for community outreach, and established HIV/AIDS Ministry.
Service – A chair lift was installed for the elderly and disabled, and the deacon ministry was extended, adding 12 new Deacons of which 9 were women, and renamed Missionaries to Deacons’ Assistants, She was the first female Chaplain at Hackensack PBA (Police Benevolent Association).
Fellowship – Re-instituted annual Friends and Family Day and started Jazzy Christmas, celebrating Christ through music.
Stewardship – Adopted tithes and offerings as method of church financing, encouraged and adopted every member to get out of debt program, led the church in becoming debt free and improved overall appearance of property through weekly landscaping and grounds upkeep.
Administration – Implemented computerized system for managing church resources and led in renovating the Annex for church offices. After 23 years of dedicated service, Pastor Manning-Fontaine preached her farewell sermon as Pastor on July 31, 2016, at which time she was bestowed the honor of Pastor Emerita and officially retired as Senior Pastor of New Hope on August 31, 2016.
In August 2016, Rev. Dr. Norma Fair-Brown from Scotch Plains, New Jersey served as the Assistant Pastor and pulpit supply, along with others, until she relocated to Georgia in April 2017. In August 2017, Rev. Kevin Jones of Elizabeth, New Jersey became interim pastor and served faithfully until December 30, 2018.
On December 9, 2018, Rev. Dr. Ross is continuing the vision and was installed as the eighth pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, New Jersey. Pastor Drew, as he is affectionately called, preached his first sermon as Senior Pastor-Elect at Watch Night service, December 31, 2018, where he expressed his desire to become a member of New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, New Jersey.
Reverend Dr. Ross is continuing the vision led by God and has accomplished many things including upgrading our social media presence on Instagram, Facebook and our website, upgrading and installing our Media System to include video and audio capabilities, renovating the sanctuary and overflow areas and enhancing our security systems. We are renewed and excited as we continue to build the legacy on a firm foundation for all generations to come!
In faith we give honor and glory to God for what he has and will do in our Church Family. We continue to build upon the good of the past, rejoicing, honoring and thanking those on whose shoulders we proudly stand and 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.