In 1983, the Mid-Atlantic Presbytery sent the Rev. Richard N. (Dick) Ellis and his wife, Gayle, to Frederick, Maryland to plant an Orthodox Presbyterian congregation. They began meeting for Bible study and prayer with several families, two of which are still part of the church today. New Hope Presbyterian Church started Sunday worship on June 12, 1983 at the Ellis’ home in Walkersville, MD. New Hope was organized as a particular church on May 15, 1988 with two ruling elders and Dick Ellis was called as the first pastor. In June of 1992, a church property was purchased at 216 Carroll Parkway in downtown Frederick and was the worship facility for New Hope for 12 years.
Growing and Changing
In March, 2001, the Session approved a resolution to hire a part-time assistant to help New Hope in two key areas: worship and discipleship. The search was expanded in September 2001 to find a full-time associate pastor. In December 2001, the Presbytery approved Dick Ellis as its paid, half-time regional home missionary and Session approved that action. In June, 2002, the Rev. Vincent (Vinny) Tauriello was called as associate pastor. He accepted the call and moved his family to Frederick from New York City shortly thereafter. The pastoral and administrative responsibilities of the senior pastor and the new associate were divided to accommodate Dick’s work as regional home missionary.
During the period of growth the leadership at New Hope came to realize that the facility at 216 Carroll Parkway had become a constraint to ministry activities. Though built as a church building it lacked adequate space for a worship facility, Sunday school classrooms and fellowship activity. In anticipation of a brief sojourn in rented facilities, the church building was sold to Ambassador Baptist Church in 2004. New Hope began to use rented space for the church offices and the Parkway Elementary School as a worship facility. A facility fund was started with the sale of the 216 Carroll Parkway property and was overseen by the Board of Trustees.
A Change in Leadership
After many years of faithful service at New Hope, Pastor Ellis resigned in May, 2008. He and his family moved to New Jersey in early 2009 after Pastor Ellis accepted a call as pastor at Faith Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Pole Tavern.
Shortly afterward, Pastor Tauriello, who had a long-term burden for inner city work, received a call to take a church planting position in the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) in northeast Philadelphia.
New Hope was then served by pastors Steve Green, Karl Dortsbach, and Jim Stastny, before a full-time interim pastor was called. Dr. Allen Curry, who had once been director of Great Commissions Publications and then taught at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi until retirement, served New Hope very ably until the arrival of the current pastor.
A New Pastor
With the departure of the two former pastors, a pastoral search committee was formed. After a thorough search, the committee asked Pastor Francis VanDelden to candidate for the position of Pastor at New Hope. He was then called to the pastorate by the congregation and arrived in the spring of 2011 from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He and his wife Laura and their five children are now settled in Frederick and at New Hope.
A New Church Home
When the church building that New Hope started in was sold, there were plans to worship in rented facilities for only a short period of time. But, that was not to be the Lord's timing. With rising costs of real estate and other constraints, New Hope has worshipped at Parkway Elementary school for over a decade. Fortunately, God was gracious during this time and the facility fund that was begun in 2004 continued to grow through the generosity of church members. By 2011, this facility fund had a sizable amount in it.
In August 2010, a small property search committee (a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees) employed the services of a real estate agent and began searching for properties to buy or lease and renovate. In October of 2010, the Lord lead this team to a property on Jefferson Pike; an empty warehouse that was both for sale and for lease. After much work and time, the Board of Trustees signed a 15 year lease on this building and renovations to it began in May of 2012. We have enjoyed worshipping in our new facility since September of 2012.
Characteristics of the New Hope Congregation
Our congregation can best be characterized by a commitment to principles of the Reformed Faith and strong family values. It is not strictly a local church as we have active membership from the four state area of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. Members of our church have been willing to drive long distances to attend a reformed church. It is also notable that there are several large and medium sized families in attendance as well as a growing number of young couples with young children. Our numbers continue grow as more young families join us (which is evidenced in the fast growing nursery and Sunday school!). We are also enjoying a growing number of single people and empty nest couples. By and large our congregation is well grounded in its faith.