Hope United Methodist Church is located on the southeast side of Dayton in Greene County. Last year, the church decided to emphasize an understanding of baptism – what it means and why it matters. After having no baptisms in 2017, Hope Church had 13 baptisms in 2018 along with 3 professions of faith.
Hope UMC was chosen as the 2018 Miami Valley District Light of the World award winner at this year’s West Ohio Annual Conference. Light of the World churches are outstanding in their commitment to shine the light of God’s love into their communities and reach new people for Christ.
Hope Church is striving to be a diverse church of disciples that are committed to encountering God regularly in worship, to engaging in Bible study, service, prayer, and missions, and to equipping people to serve in ministry. The church’s values form the acronym HOPE: Hospitality, Outreach, Passionate Worship/Prayer, and Expository Teaching – and these ideals are at the center of everything that Hope UMC does.
Hope UMC makes a real effort to be an inviting, healthy, gospel-centered and mission-driven church. “As though we were welcoming Jesus himself into our midst, we strive to be the warmest and friendliest place in south Dayton,” remarks Pastor Jason Bunger, now in his ninth year of ministry at Hope.
Hope Church initiates or supports at least three major outreach events in their local community each year. The church also reaches out to the marginalized by partnering with other programs, such as recovery ministries, local food pantries, and other organizations. Internationally, the church supports mission work in Zambia, Germany, the Philippines, and Latin America.
“I think we do a pretty good job of keeping ministry simple,” Pastor Jason says. “We don’t have a lot of programs. But we simply try to do with excellence that which God has called us to do.”
As for the future, Pastor Jason would like to see Hope UMC become an anchor in the community for children and family ministries – a real challenge in a suburban area where families have little time left in their busy schedules.
“We have a great location and staff, but we are serving a community that suffers from too many opportunities,” he states. “In other words, people in our community say ‘yes’ to everything and therefore seem to have little time left for God. But a gospel-centered ministry should be more focused on people than on programs.”
Congratulations to Hope UMC-Dayton for being recognized as the 2018 Miami Valley District Light of the World congregation!