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2012 Walton Award winner announced

New church development receives $25,000 to further Presbyterian mission in Southern California

February 21, 2012

Men playing in a band.

Diverse people come together in worship and mission at New Hope, seeking to make a difference for Christ in their Southern California communities. —Photo courtesy of New Hope Presbyterian Church

LOUISVILLE

New Hope Presbyterian Church, in the Presbytery of Los Ranchos in Southern California, has been named winner of the 2012 Sam and Helen R. Walton Award.   

New Hope is the first viable African American new church development in the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii in 50 years.   It has grown from a core group of 20 in 2007 to nearly 90, receiving 21 new members in 2011. “What started as a vision for a successful African American church in our presbytery has become something more,” says Los Ranchos Executive Presbyter Steve Yamaguchi. “It is a mosaic of hope and fellowship in which diverse people from cities throughout Southern California come together in worship and mission, seeking to make a difference for Christ.”

New Hope’s organizing pastor Chineta Goodjoin is grateful to have received this award, and what this partnership in Presbyterian mission means to her congregation.  “It is a boost to the spirit and makes us all the more enthusiastic about living our vision to glorify God by uplifting all people.”

This vision is evident in New Hope’s various initiatives of mission and outreach. In its first two years the congregation established the Hope Alive benefit concert to subsidize a local school’s music program that had been eliminated. Watch 2011 promotional video for this concert held late last year.

They have also formed a Street Team ministry that goes door-to-door, giving small gifts of friendship, extending Christ’s love, and letting people know that they matter. Their Health and Wellness ministry has partnered with two local nonprofits (Hoag Memorial Hospital and The G.R.E.E.N. foundation) to offer free flu shots, quarterly blood pressure screening, and mammograms to those without health insurance.

New Hope was selected for its work in furthering Presbyterian mission in its community by the Mission Development Resource Committee. The General Assembly Mission Council endorsed MDRC’s recommendation. Earlier this year, the GAMC selected the congregation as one of the 10 top racial ethnic and new immigrant churches in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  

Mission Program Grants is a ministry of Evangelism and Church Growth in the General Assembly Mission Council of the PC(USA).

Continue to give to this ministry, which provides grants that help establish new congregations and further presbyteries’ broader work in congregational transformation.

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