Hope Community Church

Growing on the Prairie

Chamber Member Highlights

Spring 2024, Hope Community Church

Hope Community Church, part of the Evangelical Free Church denomination (so thereby the only non-Lutheran church in town!) purchased the old Starbuck Theatre building in 2009.  However, their full history is that the church started meeting in the Minnewaska High School in 2002.  After wearing out their welcome at the high school (ha!) and they’d purchased the building in Starbuck, they started services in two sites, one here in town and the other at Glenwood Central Square.  Seen above are the staff, Caitlyn Jorgensen as musical director, Vickie Anderson as administrator, and Kelly Mahoney as senior pastor.  Hope Community consists of approximately 160 attenders split between the 2 services, 9:00 a.m. in Starbuck and 10:30 in Glenwood.  There are many young families, and lots of energetic children which bring so much life!  Hope partners with the First Bapt. Church of Glenwood to offer a weekly children’s program, AWANA, and to host VBS each summer.

How do you sum up a church’s focus?  Like all businesses, there is a mission statement, but they talked about their dreams for Hope by saying the priority is relationships.  Intimacy with God is number one, being in community with other believers, and redemptive relationship with the world outside the church’s walls.  The staff are committed to our community, trying always to emphasize connections.

Each of these three staff are involved in our county.  Caitlyn is part of Jorgensen Drywall, which many of us have hired and admired.  Vicki and her husband Randy farm south of Starbuck, along with his role as a banker, formerly in Starbuck and now Morris.  Many will know Kelly as he helps coach youth soccer and the new robotics team.  He is part of the expo, baccalaureate, Night to Unite, and pretty much every joint venture between all area churches. He is on the Glenwood chamber board of directors.  Also, you may have seen and heard him helping with the Heritage Days church service in the park.  His wife Cheryl is a nurse working in Alex, along with helping Kelly with many activities listed above. This coming Heritage Days Fly In Pancake Breakfast will be the third year the church members have helped serve.  All this to say, the church is the people and they are focused on emphasizing connections.

When asked why they are members of the Starbuck Chamber of commerce, Kelly said “Jesus spent more time in the marketplace than in the church and He is our CEO, we follow His example!”  When asking for suggestions for the town or chamber, they did gently suggest that the chamber might do well to hire a part-time employee to help with communication.  (Yes, we would agree, but that’s another article!)  

Their final thoughts after our interview were to let all know that they are a casual, come as you are, contemporary worship service style.  They care about fellowship!