Our Pastor


Rev Edward H. Cottrell, Jr is currently the full-time local pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Hope Indiana. Pastor Ed also chaplains the Hope Police Department and Hope Fire Department. With his EMT certification current in the State of Indiana, he responds to emergencies here in Hope for the safety of our community. The Hope Ministerial Association brought Pastor Ed onboard to help bring our ecumenical churches closer together serving our community in a broader sense through the eight active churches involved with the association. Pastor Ed preaches to us on how the scriptures are relevant to us today.
Pastor Ed came to us from Maple Hill UMC in July of 2017 after being appointed there as a part-time pastor in 2008. He retired from full-time employment at I.U. Health Methodist Hospital Emergency Room on the Critical Care side as a Physicians Extender/Tech and secretarial positions. He has been an EMT with Lifeline Critical Care Transport on the Neo/Peds team; Rural/Metro Ambulance Incorporated all located in Indianapolis Indiana; been in the Emergency Medical Services since 1975. On Warren Township Fire Department in April of 1975 as a volunteer and became an EMT in 1977, started professionally with Aid Ambulance in November 1977. In 1979 started functioning as one of the Critical Care EMT’s driving the Riley Transport at Aid Ambulance which in 1994 was acquired by Rural/Metro. In 1979 became a dispatcher for Marion County Rural Fire until 1994. During that time in communications gained national education to be an Emergency Dispatcher Instructor. In 1996 Riley Hospital took the program in-house to develop The Riley Transport Team and was asked to be a part of that program. In 2005 the program was taken under the Lifeline Critical Care Transport.
For 20 years helped in the designing of multiple ambulance specifications committees at Warren Fire Department and Riley Transport. Repeatedly has taught Emergency Vehicle Operations to other Emergency Medical personnel from 1980 thru 2018.
Had a Commercial Drivers License to drive buses since the change to that type of licensing by the Federal Government in 1994. Has driven for Old Bethel with the scouts and Old Bethel Preschool field trips. Over the 20 years as a member of Old Bethel UMC, headed up the bus program for 8 years, developed safety procedures for operations and maintenance of the bus program, did the research for the purchase of vehicles and participated in the purchasing of replacement vehicles. In 1992 began driving for Wandering Wheels out of Taylor University for their trips and the Baseball Team’s Spring Training. In April of 2013 while transporting pre-school children and parents of Old Bethels Pre-School to the Indianapolis Zoo with 50 people on board had a catastrophe and complete brake failure on the bus. There were no injuries or contact with other vehicles during the incident. Since then has developed a bus safety program for Churches that he continues to present to organizations to improve the safety of their program. In 2016 was invited to speak at the WFX16 exposition on bus safety in Nashville TN.
Was active in the scouting programs here in Indianapolis starting 1988 with multiple positions of leadership in the Boy Scouts of America for adult leaders including a do dad in Girl Scouts. He served on the Training Staff with BSA in Indianapolis for training adult leaders, which included the position as the training chairman. Served as the Indianapolis East District Scouting Coordinator United Methodist Church starting 1992. In 2000 earned The Torch Award, the top award for adults in the God and Country Series which was given by Bishop Woodie White at Annual Conference.
At Old Bethel, he was a Trustee from 1990 to 1996. He was Chairman of the Trustees from 1992 till 1996. In 1998 became a Certified Lay Speaker and advanced to Lay Leader at Old Bethel to Lay Leader Chairman until 2006. Therefore he understands the laity side of the church.
Twenty years ago began investigating to become a pastor in the United Methodist Church through the program for second-career people and acquired his license to preach in spring of 2005. Began Course of Study in the fall of 2005, and in July of 2008 received his first appointment. In April of 2015, he completed and graduated the 10-year program Course of Study.
Rev Cottrell’s, wife Lyla, of 42 years lived on the east side of Indianapolis. They both graduated from John Marshall High School, Rev Cottrell in 1974 Mrs Cottrell in 1977. They have three grown children, (Chantel, Ryan and Amanda). Chantel has two children (Victoria, Gwendolyn). Amanda has one child Rylee
Rev Cottrell and Lyla enjoy camping, backyard nature sanctuary, Scouting and their church work. They became members of Old Bethel United Methodist Church in 1988. They were married and members of Asbury UMC on the east side of Indy in 1977.