First service as new church planned Sunday morning
VINTON –The merged Revolution and Blessed Hope Church will hold joint services Sunday for the first time in their history. It is now known as the Blessed Hope Community Church.
The congregations recently voted to become one church to avoid duplicating their efforts and to do a better job of reaching people.
Pastors David Condry and Matt Hantz said the new church will operate out of the Blessed Hope Church building near Highway 218 on the city’s south side. They also will retain the Revolution Church building on First Avenue for use by the community for various activities. Condry and Hantz will serve as co-pastors of the recently united church.
“We will launch the new Blessed Hope Community Church on Sunday,” said Hantz, formerly pastor of Blessed Hope.
“The leaders have been working on it for about 18 months. The congregations have been working with us on it for about seven. It is kind of exciting to finally be at the launch stage.”
Condry, formerly pastor of Revolution Church, said the two churches were doing good things in the community and following the direction in which God wants them to follow. The Blessed Hope and Revolution churches had been “partnering” on many activities and they ultimately realized they might work more efficiently together.
"God just kept opening those doors for us to partner together,” said Condry. “Eventually we just kind of looked at each other and said ‘why are we doing all of this separate? Can we possibly do it better together””
That brought the two together to explore the possibility of being stronger as one church, said Condry. Hantz said they sincerely believe that God believes they can do better together than separately.
“There are really good churches in town so this is not a matter of competition in that way at all,” said Hantz. “I don’t want that to get misunderstood at all.
“What happened to us at Blessed Hope and at Revolution is that we were competing with each other in areas where we didn’t need be competing with each other. We have so similar vision and such similar mission. Hantz said their styles were also very similar.
“It just seemed like that even though we were friendly we were competing with each other and spending money on resources that were being duplicated rather than just pooling our resources.
“When we really dug into it God just made it clear that this was a “no-brainer.”
Condry said part of the equation was looking at the facets which were strong at Blessed Hope and those that were strong at Revolution. The reality was that if those were brought together it would create something stronger and even more effective.
“There was just this kind of coming together of parts that it just made sense,” said Condry.
Condry and Hantz had been discussing the possibility among themselves for about two years. The discussions between them started on Condry’s back porch.
“Part of the conversation was that we don’t want to compete with each other,” said Hantz. “We are both on the same mission.”
In August-September of 2017, they requested their church leaders pray about it and study the situation and they would talk in a couple of months. In January of 2018 the leadership decided to attempt a merger. The affirmation vote came earlier this month.
Condry and Hantz will each serve the merged church.
When Revolution Church purchased the building downtown as a worship/community center, there were big dreams.
“When we got this building I made it very clear that this is not our church building,”said Condry.” I wanted them to understand...that this was a community building with the idea that lets leverage it as a community building that could be used for many things.”
Condry said he would like to see the building became the Christian equivalent of Cheers.
“Not a bar, but a place where people can go, know people and can feel comfortable here,” said Condry.
A person could come in and visit, get some work done, said Condry. They could just feel comfortable there.
There are other ideas such as weddings, meetings and other functions. Condry suggested that even a karoke night was a possibility.