HThe 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.
An “upper room” at the Wilcox Mall was the very first place of worship. In an effort to more adequately accommodate the rapidly growing ministry, the congregation moved to a storefront on South Orange Blossom Trail in January 1984. A permanent facility was the vision of the Pastor and the dream of the members. In early 1984, 2.3 acres of land was purchased at 3099 Orange Center Boulevard for the construction of a brand new facility and on July 29, 1984, the groundbreaking ceremony was held. The construction progressed with much work on the part of the pastor, his family, and members. In August 1985, weekly services were held in the incomplete sanctuary. Finally, in March 1986, the vision of a new sanctuary became reality; it was complete with a learning center (approximately 6,000 square feet). The Learning Center was opened immediately under the direction of Mrs. Beulah Wiggins. The center focused on meeting the academic needs of the young people within the community.
The membership continued to increase and to ensure continuity of leadership, Reverend Allen T.D. Wiggins was called as co-pastor in December 1996. There was a major influx of members and as a result, the maximum usage of the current facility was realized. The ministry enlarged its efforts to effect change by expanding the vision to include being an active participant in the lives of the members of the community. In 1999, we entered a cooperative joint venture with several local organizations to provide upper level affordable housing in the community; the first project being Hope Village Apartment Homes. In our continued efforts to serve the needs of the community we purchased land one block away from our current location. In October 2001, Rev. R. W. Wiggins officially passed the mantle of leadership to his son, therefore placing Rev. Allen Wiggins into the position of Senior Pastor. Having a vision to reach the local community for Christ by “meeting the needs of the total man,” Pastor Allen continues to lead the ministry in its partnership with local community development initiatives.
Continuing to believe God for a blessing larger than we could imagine, the church moved forward with the construction of phase one of the new facility. A spirit-filled groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 13, 2002 to celebrate the abundant blessings of God upon our Ministry. In 2004, God’s favor and ability to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever think of or imagine was proven once again. We purchased the Ebenezer United Methodist Church located on the corner of Goldwyn Ave and Monte Carlo Trail, which is diagonally across the street from the location of the new facility.
Simultaneously, we 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. The house was refurbished and became the Hope Business Center, housing Hope Graphics, the Divine Collections Bookstore, and temporarily the Hope administrative offices. As construction of the new facility continued, God gave us the opportunity to be a blessing to another ministry. In June 2004, the Hope family began to have weekly services in the Founders’ Chapel, affording New Beginnings Baptist Church the opportunity to hold their worship services in our church facility on Orange Center Blvd.
In December 2004, we celebrated the completion of the Prayer Chapel and moved into our new facility. We commemorated this new chapter in our church history with a weekend of events including a Dedication Banquet and formal Dedicatory Services. 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 of Orlando. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the ministry continues to mature and transform to meet the ever changing needs of our members and the community at large.