Church History

Hope Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1854 in opposition to the slavery of people in the south before the Civil War. The first building was erected at the southwest corner of Washington and Elm streets in 1856. Pastoral support was supplied by Southeast Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church with Circuit Riders in the St Louis Circuit. In the early 1860s, Hope had the largest charge membership of 131 with the St Louis Circuit that included St Louis ( Old St Louis) Ebenezer, Newbern, Hawpatch, Clifty, Asbury, and Fletcher. Hope Methodist Episcopal Church obtained the status of a Station church in 1877 and maintained that status until 1960.

In 1886 there were congregational meetings that lasted over two weeks on the need to build a new church building due to overcrowdedness. $4,700.00 had already been promised for property and construction. In December the Trustees were organized to locate a property to build. Two properties were identified on Washington St and Jackson St. In March of 1887, a third property was compromised on to purchase.  A cost to build was set at $6,000.00 the church. In that meeting, the decision was made to order “church plan 6B from the Sears Catalog” and award construction to Scudder, Lawrence and Phillipy Construction Company. The church was built over that summer of 1887 and dedicated on October 22 1887, which is the church’s current location and building. Then came the task of placing pews in the church. The committee used a popular method called “pewing the church”. Members were asked to purchase a pew at the cost of $1.25 per seat. $505 were pledged toward “pewing” the church. With all the improvements to the “Church” at the Quarterly Conference of the Southeast district, Hope Methodist Episcopal Church was recognized as a church and not a charge December 17th 1906.

The preceding information was made possible by the work and research of Gladys Simmons and pulled from her book “Glimpses Into The Past, Hope United Methodist Church, 1854-1987” pages 1-8

Today the church is in that same building with some additions and alterations. The people are a traditional faith group but know that all of us are sinful in the eyes of God. All of us need the Grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ he endured on the cross that Friday. Only when we ask Him to come into our lives and promise to earnestly to strive toward living as Jesus did. Not one of us is better than anyone else. We hold onto what the scriptures say and struggle with what it means for us today.