The history of “The Hope” encompasses an incredible journey involving a number of notable transformations and the inspired commitment of many faithful individuals. Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church was birthed out of a meeting of eight devoted Christians at the home of Sis. Norweida Rozier-Maxwell. On September 18, 1983, Pastor Wilbert Hawkins delivered the installation message and the Reverend R.W. Wiggins was officially installed as Pastor. Under the leadership of the founding pastor, the late Rev. Dr. R.W. Wiggins, the church grew from a house of 8 members, to an upper room at the former Wilcox Mall, to a storefront building on Orange Blossom Trail, to finally its first permanent building it called home on Orange Center Blvd. In March 1986, the vision of a new sanctuary became reality complete with a learning center (approximately 6,000 square feet). The Learning Center was opened under the direction of Mrs. Beulah Wiggins and focused on meeting the academic needs of the young people within the community. Upon the recognition of continued growth and an exceptional vision, Pastor R.W. Wiggins recognized that the vision was larger than him. Therefore, to ensure continuity of leadership, Reverend Allen T.D. Wiggins was called as co-pastor in December 1996.
In 1999, both Rev. Dr. R.W. and Pastor Allen Wiggins led the members in a campaign to acquire approximately 23 acres of land on John Young Parkway to accommodate ministry growth in the future. In October 2001, Rev. R. W. Wiggins officially passed the mantle of leadership to his son, thereby elevating Rev. Allen Wiggins into the position of Senior Pastor.
On July 13, 2002, Rev. Allen Wiggins, now in the role of Senior Pastor, led a spirit-filled groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of ‘The Prayer Chapel’, representing the first phase of development on the recently acquired John Young Parkway property. Before the completion of the new facility, in 2004, Pastor Allen Wiggins led the ministry to purchase the Ebenezer United Methodist Church located on the corner of Goldwyn Ave and Monte Carlo Trail. Simultaneously, the church acquired a 2500 square foot house located behind the Ebenezer Church. The newly acquired church was renamed the Founders’ Chapel in honor of the founders of our ministry, Dr. R.W. and Mother Beulah Wiggins. In December 2004, we celebrated the completion of the Prayer Chapel and moved into our new facility. The physical transition into the new sanctuary also marked a spiritual transition for our ministry. Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church would now be known as The Hope Church.
The year 2007 marked a year of transition and Manifested Increase. In February 2007, Pastor Allen T.D. Wiggins was elevated to the Office of Bishop by the International Bishop’s Conference. On July 12, 2007 the Lord transitioned our beloved founder; Dr. R. W. Wiggins, from mortality to immortality. Through Divine inspiration and revelation, 2008 was declared the year of Abundant Overflow for The Hope Church. Embracing the Great Commission while yet addressing the needs of our growing congregation, in the summer of 2008, Bishop Allen Wiggins expanded the vision of the church to now impact a neighboring city by launching The Hope Church of Kissimmee. Anticipating a need for ministry expansion, the vacant land adjacent to the Hope Campus on Monte Carlo Trail was purchased in December 2008, resulting in ownership of 90% of the property on Monte Carlo Trail. In June 2011 the Orlando and Kissimmee congregations were unified on the Orlando campus to strengthen and fortify our foundation and strategically position the ministry for further opportunities.
In our ongoing efforts to change the community by meeting the needs of the total man, The Hope Church continues to serve as a catalyst for positive transformation. Over the years, we’ve established strategic partnerships which provide attainable and affordable housing to hundreds of families and economic development initiatives in our immediate community. In the summer of 2010 The Hope and First Baptist of Orlando made a historic partnership to establish the Lydia House, a safe transitional home for women reentering society from incarceration. In the spring of 2011, in order to better serve the Haitian demographic of both our church and community the Hope Church launched worship services offering Christ in Creole. Presently, the ministry is making strides in the area of education through strategic partnerships that offer early childhood development, elementary and secondary education on our campus. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and committed leadership, The Hope Church continues to mature and transform to meet the ever changing needs of our members and the community at large.