It all started . . .
. . . in the 1960’s, when there was a Covenant church that met on the West side for some years in the home of a developer pastor. That congregation had a house in the vicinity of High School and Rockville Roads that served as both the parsonage and the location for services and Bible studies. They also purchased wooded and relatively inaccessible property on Kessler Boulevard north of 38thStreet. That church dissolved in the late 1960’s, and the church property was lost.
A monthly Covenant Bible study met for about a year in a home in Carmel in the late 1970’s, but did not develop into an established church. In the summer of 1980, Central Conference Superintendent Rev. Winstedt located five families with Covenant backgrounds in Indianapolis and asked them if they would be interested in beginning a Bible study and fellowship group. Shortly thereafter the group began meeting each Sunday evening for Bible study, and felt the Lord was calling them to begin public worship services as a Covenant church. The group began as a new church plant, with support from the Central Conference and the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism.
Public worship services began on January 4, 1981 using guest pastors, until Pastor Bryan Kletzing and family were able to arrive, beginning ministry in April of 1981. Pastor Kletzing rented office space at the Indiana Interchurch Center during the time that Hope Covenant worshipped at Brebeuf High School. Midweek Bible studies and other events took place in members’ homes, and VBS was held in city parks and other public places. Pastor Kletzing ministered in Indianapolis through the construction of the Hope church building in 1988. Brian and Mary Ellen and family moved to Ravenswood Covenant Church in Chicago in 1991. Rev. Arthur Anderson served as interim pastor from 1991-1992.
Pastor Dan Johnson was called to Hope in 1992 following a developer pastorate in Tucson. Dan and Sue served in Indianapolis until 2003, when they were called back to the original Tucson Covenant church. Pastor Dan had a passion for evangelism and racial reconciliation. He was a strong promoter of more contemporary worship styles in order to reach those outside of the existing church. This was a time of significant growth in our history, as we were able to bring on on additional part-time paid staff in office and ministry roles. This was also a strong period of developing the worship experience through music and preaching.
Rev. Mick Murphy served as a transitional pastor in 2004. Mick is remembered as being instrumental in guiding Hope through the transition from the previous long-term pastor to its next stage in the ministry of the church.
Pastor Tom Miller became our third full-time pastor in July of 2005. Over the past fourteen years, there have been several different associate pastors, youth directors, and staff persons who have served with Tom. There were times of growth and also times where the church declined in attendance. As Tom and Laura retire this year, we pray expectantly for the pastor God is preparing for our next stage of ministry.