Even before its launch in the Spring of 2012, God had already called Anthony Thomas into the Gospel ministry while he was attending Sky View Missionary Baptist Church led by Pastor Wendell Horton. Pastor Horton was already burdened to bring hope to the Cana community, and along with their partnership with the SBC of Virginia, the infrastructure was in place! A work like this requires faith that God will continue to bring it to completion and faithfulness in the face of the challenges and trials that lie ahead.
We easily celebrate when God does something new. We celebrated Hope Community Church in the spring edition of the Proclaimer with the article entitled “Planting Partners Network” by Randy Aldridge. The church launched strong in May 2012 with 115 in attendance, and they had baptized eight by August with more ready for baptism.
However, once the ink dries, the celebrations cease and the dust settles, the reality sets in. But the work has not stopped. Hope is not only still alive and well in the small community, but Hope is also growing in Cana.
Since its launch under the leadership of Pastor Anthony Thomas, Hope Community Church has continued to grow. The church now finds its home in a 15,000 sq. ft. worship center that is sitting on 15 acres of land, allowing room for Hope Community Church to continue to grow. “The building is nice but it’s really about the people,” says Pastor Anthony.
While Pastor Anthony admits this has not been an easy seven years and there have been times that he and his wife Angie have come close to “throwing in the towel,” they have stood firm in their calling to the community and the ministry to which they are called. Both Anthony and Angie continue to serve faithfully in the ministry the Lord has called them to. The Lord remains faithfully at work alongside them with 21 new believers baptized so far this year, ranging in age from 9 to 82.
The church isn’t done growing. They plan to add athletic fields, picnic shelters, and walking trails to help bring hope to the local community through the efforts of the church.