Over two hundred years ago, the area around Hopewell was served by circuit riders, preachers on horseback. These preachers were members of Lovely Lane Meetinghouse in Baltimore. They traveled the Eastern Shore of Maryland and moved north into Pennsylvania. Records show that in 1783, Francis Asbury began to meet with James Batten's class and members of Benson's Chapel in Eagle, PA, a nearby village. These two groups combined and built a small log chapel on the hilltop north of Batten's home. From this humble beginning, Hopewell Church was born. There is no written record of how the name changed from Batten's to Hopewell Methodist Church, because vital records were destroyed when a raging fire consumed the church parsonage where the information was kept.
Hopewell's First Church
A new building was erected in 1843 on the site of the current Hopewell cemetery. In 1867, a replacement church building was constructed on the present location of the Chapel. The cornerstones of this building now grace the lower hall of the Chapel. This beautiful structure, serving as the church's Sanctuary until completion of the current Sanctuary in 1990, was constructed in 1913. The Education Building, (formerly a free standing structure, and now integrated into the "mall" adjacent to the Sanctuary), was built in 1958, helping to meet the expanding needs of worship, education and fellowship. The congregation of 350 members worked to raise the necessary money to build the new wing. The original chapel is still used each Sunday for traditional worship services and for special events.
In 1989, a larger Sanctuary was constructed along with a Family Life Center and gymnasium, renovated office space and additional classrooms. Hopewell moved into its new Sanctuary on Easter Sunday of 1990. In 1994, the former Sanctuary was dedicated as the "Donald J. Bower Memorial Chapel" in honor of a beloved pastor of 26 years who went to be with the Lord while serving this church.
Branching out in Faith Campaign
Beginning in 2001, Hopewell began a building campaign to keep up with the growth of the congregation while modernizing the facility. During the expansion, an adult ministry center, junior and senior high youth spaces, and administrative offices were added. This new space helped free up more classroom space in the church, and allowed the conversion of a small home on the property into a home for our facility manager.