At Hope ...

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:28 

Hope Lutheran Church welcomes all people as children of God.  We are called to be one body with many members. This body is inclusive of diversity in race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, physical or cognitive ability, sexual orientation and gender identities.

 In practicing the intentional hospitality of Jesus, we will make room in our hearts, our homes and our congregation for all neighbors.  We seek to follow the great commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself”. (Mark 12:31).

All Are Welcome Here

A History of Hope ...

It all started in 1925 with a survey of 144 homes in Nokomis Park, a sparsely inhabited area of Minneapolis and Richfield.  The survey led to the opening of a Sunday School and then the incorporation of Hope English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Nokomis Park on January 24, 1928 - a congregation of the United Lutheran Church in America. 

Plans for a sanctuary building at 5829 27th Avenue, Minneapolis were under way (a building which stood where the Eastbound lanes of MN Hwy 62 now lay). Despite the challenges of the Great Depression, Hope Lutheran Church grew steadily in the early years and was served by a number of part-time and student pastors.  

With the news of plans for the Crosstown Highway running right through Hope's property, plans were made to obtain property on 57th Street and Cedar Avenue. Groundbreaking for this new facility commenced on April 21, 1957 and it was dedicated January 12, 1958.  At this time Hope counted 800 members just as the United Lutheran Church in America was merging to become part of the Lutheran Church in America.

With the hiring of a full-time Music Director, the development of an all-ages music program at Hope began.  The growth of the congregation through this time necessitated a larger sanctuary space, which was again impacted by a public works project, this time a pedestrian bridge to cross Cedar Avenue which was built right where a sanctuary expansion had been planned.

Fortunately for Hope a nearby property became available for sale and a sanctuary building, designed by Ralph Rapson, was built and the first held in the iconic building at 58th & Cedar was held September 28, 1969.  

The 1970's and 1980's saw significant congregational growth and steady support for Hope's music program. The addition of the Festival of Arts program brought neighbors far and wide to share in a festive time of music, drama, and visual art displays over the years. During this time and beyond Hope served its neighbors with a preschool that provided a space for children to begin their learning and socializing that would be so important to their lives.

In 1988 the Lutheran Church in America merged with the American Lutheran Church and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Church to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Hope once again claimed a new national church body.

As the new millenium approached, Hope, like many other churches across the United States, began to see a decline of membership. Many longtime members of Hope began to move out of South Minneapolis, their children went away to college or found jobs in outlying suburbs or other states, but their hearts remained at Hope as evidenced by attendance at special events hosted by the church or festival Sundays.  

In the past several years, Hope continued to be a welcome space for the community hosting a variety of meetings and group events including building a relationship with Rehoboth Ethiopian Church, a congregation that serves Ethiopian immigrants in the Twin Cities area.  

In January 2019 Hope became a Reconciling in Christ congregation, making an explicit statement of welcome to many who have felt unwelcome in many churches, including those who identify as part of the LGBTQ community.

Despite many new ideas for outreach and growth, in January 2020, the members of Hope Lutheran Church voted to begin the process of selling their building and combine membership with a neighboring ELCA congregation.  In March 2020 public gatherings were suspended due to COVID-19 and the members of Hope Lutheran Church, out of an abundance of safety for their neighbors, chose to worship using Zoom where they could maintain their longtime relationships and see each other during interactive worship services.

On September 30, 2020 the building that had been home to Hope Lutheran Church for 50 years was sold to Iglesia Dios Habla Hoy.  The members of Hope continued to worship using Zoom as they made the necessary decisions that would direct the distribution of assets of Hope Lutheran Church, choosing organizations that had been important to Hope Lutheran Church through the years to receive legacy gifts from the congregation.

On December 27, 2020, Hope Lutheran Church held its last worship service on Zoom.  It was a bittersweet event that captured many memories of the congregation and focused on the hope that Christians hold in Jesus Christ, the Saviour whose birth was celebrated just days before. 

In the final worship services at Hope words from the Apostle Paul were shared regularly and resonate deeply with the members, "... and not only that, we boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)


Hope remains ...

A place for celebration. A place for brokenness. A place for wholeness. A place for people to live out their messy faith in a big mysterious God with confidence. A place to ask questions. A place for love.  A place to belong. A place for mission and purpose. A place where ALL are welcome. A place for you!