Hope Church celebrates expansion while looking ahead - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Hope Church celebrates expansion while looking ahead

On the first Sunday of the new year, pastor Craig Strickland reflected back on the Hope Church's unusual beginning.

Actually we started in a restaurant," Strickland said.

Strickland said that first congregation 20 years ago began with two families. Now, with the new renovations, the sanctuary can seat about five thousand people.

"I think for us the best feature about the news building is that it gives us the opportunity to all be in one space instead of two spaces which has been our recent past," Strickland said.

Hope Church's new renovations also include coffee bars. Plus a state of the art video system with robotic cameras, and lots of monitors.

But what hasn't changed is Pastor Strickland's sometimes unusual way of making a point.  He used a puppy to use as an example in part of a sermon on Godly discipline.

Members can also tell you about the time Strickland rode a motorcycle on stage to make a point.

"And the point wasn't so much having the motorcycle up there as it was getting everybody's attention and I think that's one of the unique things about Hope Church is you never know what to expect. I mean there's something different happening all the time," Strickland said.

As for the future, Strickland predicts continued growth.

"Well we were wanting to start a church for unchurched people. For people who had pretty much given up on church. People that had not necessarily given up on God but people who had given up on church," Strickland said. "And we've started a church for that sort of person and we've kept that vision for 20 years it still drives every decision we make."

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