Hope Summit Christian Church began as an idea in the mind of Frank Myers back in the 1950′s. Frank was the pastor of the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ in Pleasant Grove, MN. He dreamed of starting a New Testament church in the growing city of Rochester, MN. He noticed that there were a number of families driving out each weekend from the Rochester area to attend the worship services at the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ and their sister church, the Marion Church of Christ, in Marion, MN. After making contacts and casting his vision for starting a new church, a group of Christian men and women met for the first time on October 7, 1956, at the new 4-H Building on the Olmsted County Fairgrounds. Thirty-five people were listed as charter members.
In July of 1957, Willard Hockley was called to minister at the new church. The group decided to relocate to the Rolling Greens subdivision, a new residential area in Northwest Rochester. They built a beautiful parsonage/chapel at 1919 33rd Street NW. Worship took place in the basement. The name of the church was changed to Rolling Greens Church of Christ. The congregation soon outgrew its building.
In January of 1960, the congregation purchased the Grace Lutheran Chapel at 11th Avenue and 5th Street SE. The church’s name was changed to the East Side Church of Christ. A parsonage was also purchased in a nearby location at 1525 4th Street NE. The church enjoyed healthy growth. Willard Hockley resigned in 1963 and was followed by John Barry. John served the congregation from September 1, 1963, to August 30, 1964.
Eugene Reynolds became pastor and served from September of 1964 to June of 1969. During these years the congregation outgrew the building. Attendance was running 130 on some Sundays in a worship room which seated only about 110. Two services were begun until larger facilities could be built.
The church members began a building fund, commissioned a new building committee, and prayed a lot. At a time when there were little financial resources and they were paying on a mortgage on both the current church building and parsonage, the members were able to purchase the acreage they needed. Plans materialized, ground breaking occurred, and new construction proceeded. It was a very exciting time.
On Sunday morning, August 1968, the members met for the last time at the East Side location. They formed a caravan and traveled towards their new church home at 1315 6th Avenue SE. On November 8, 1968, the new Meadow Park Church of Christ was dedicated to the service of the Lord.
Eugene Reynolds closed his ministry with the congregation in June of 1969. Aurthur Poll, Sr., served a brief interim ministry from June until August 1969. The congregation called James McWaters as pastor. He served from August 1969 to the Spring of 1975.
Ron Wernimont became the pastor in the Fall of 1975. During Ron’s tenure, the church experienced steady growth and developed multiple ministries adding an associate minister, a youth minister, and a secretary.
In 1984, the new growth forced the need to expand the building site. The result was the building of the multipurpose Family Center and the Education Wing.
Global outreach has been at the heart and soul of our congregation for many years, sponsoring missionaries and their families ministering to people all over the world. Over the years the church has been able to send out many of our own members to serve in countries around the world.
Pastor Ron retired in 1998, leaving a 23-year legacy of spiritual and church growth, along with compassionate pastoral care.
On January 1, 2000, Aaron Wager became the senior pastor. In October of 2006, the church celebrated its 50th Anniversary and launched its vision for the next 50 years. This vision was called The H2O Campaign. H2O stands for “Hope 2 Offer.” The church purchased 20 acres of land on 48th Street SW, across the street from the Willow Creek Golf Course. The church will eventually relocate to this new property as it continues to share the hope of Christ with the community. In order to get ready for the move to the SW property, the name was changed to Hope Summit Christian Church on September 1, 2008.
In May of 2010 Frank Chiapperino became Senior Pastor at Hope Summit. With Frank’s leadership, passion for the lost, and desire to teach the Bible with relevance, we look forward to seeing where God takes us next.
We are excited about what God is doing at Hope Summit, and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in our story.