Once upon a time, there was a young man who raced wheelchairs, balancing on just two wheels, during Sunday services at Hopewell Christian Fellowship in Elverson. If anyone had told this young man that decades later, he would be Lead Pastor of the same church, he would have thought they were insane. But that is my story.
Growing up at Hopewell Elverson, I was privileged to have witnessed many of the highs and lows of the church. Now, in my early forties, I find myself in a place I never would have imagined, the Lead Pastor of Hopewell Elverson. It all seems surreal at times, but I have felt God’s peace through it all. I am grateful for the 13 years of working closely with Pastor Lester Zimmerman at Petra Church. He helped me see that being a pastor is all about loving God and loving people.
Hopewell has a unique and blessed heritage, and I don’t take that lightly. Hopewell Elverson, the original church, in the Hopewell Network, started in 1974. Recently Pastor Duane Britton finished a four-year role, and I became the next pastor.
In the first sermon I preached at Hopewell, I reminded all that in Isaiah 43, God spoke to the Israelites, telling them about all he had done in the past when he miraculously rescued them out of Egypt. But then a few verses later he says, “Do not remember the past events . . . Look, I am about to do something new.”
I don’t want to get stuck trying to relive the “good ol’ days.” I am trusting that God has something new and even higher in store for Hopewell. I am honored to be a part of it.
By Pastor Gary Buck, Hopewell, Elverson