Living Hope Church
by Freddy Rivas, Pastor at Living Hope Church
These were the questions that my mind and heart could not let rest. And finally one day, my wife and I looked at each other and said, “Maybe we are supposed to plant a church.” It was the spring of 2014, and God began to show us that Living Hope Church would be a place where families would experience the love of God and hear about the good news of Jesus. God began to teach us how to pray and allowed us to see the possibilities for his kingdom work in our community. It was something we had never explored, but God was showing the way.
2016 was quite an adventure. God provided people and resources – both spiritual and financial – to help Living Hope Church become a reality in the fall. Over the course of the year, we gathered families to be a part of Living Hope Church. All of them share the same desire to serve families in our community. For all of us, it has been a growing, stretching, and joyful experience as we do events, hold services, and minister to each other and to families who are coming to our new church. With the generous financial support of EFC Southwest from the CW Perry Golf Tournament and Church to 5K fundraiser, and the support of our sending churches (Arcadia Friends Community Church and Glendora Friends Church), God has provided the funds we needed to launch. We rented a public school facility for Sunday morning worship and beginning in August, we held preview services and events to raise awareness about our church. All of this culminated in our launch on Sunday, October 30th. We had 94 people come out and celebrate with us for the start of our church. We are currently holding weekly services.
What’s next? Our mission statement is, “Inviting people to know Jesus and live new lives to transform the world.” As we settle into our rhythm of weekly services, our desire is to serve and love the families in our community. During Christmas, we helped give baskets for families in our community. This was a joint ministry opportunity between Living Hope Church, Arcadia Friends Community Church, and Glendora Friends Church. We continue to receive new families into our morning service who have never been to church or who have not attended a church for years. As we continue to develop the ministry, our long-term desire is to support missionaries and a new church plant in the future. Recently, I was reminded that our network of churches had not planted a church in Los Angeles County in 15 years. I pray and hope that our church plant will be the beginning of more church plants in Los Angeles County as we share the good news of Jesus in our communities.