“Aussie Church Starting” – a newspaper advert announced the arrival of ‘The Hope of Sheffield Christian Church’ in Easter 1991. Here’s the story since then:
The church was launched after Dave and Jenny Gilpin watched coverage of the Sheffield Hillsborough disaster on Australian television. For Dave it meant coming back to where he was born, but for Jenny it meant leaving her native Australia and launching into the unknown which has led to a church that now meets in multiple locations across the world. Here’s a brief outline of the key events as they happened:
1991 – 1993: The church kicks off in Sheffield at a couple of community halls, schools and university halls, before ending up at Granville College.
1994: The Hope of Sheffield Christian Church moves to a more permanent address right in the heart of the city in an old warehouse on Matilda Street.
1998: The church continues to grow and takes over an old derelict tool factory right in the heart of the city and names it ‘The Megacentre’. The name is also changed to ‘Hope City Church’.
October 2002-2004: With a vision to build the church in cities across the North of England, teams lead by Dave start a Hope City Church in Manchester (2002), a Hope City Church in Liverpool (2003) and a Hope City Church in Leeds (2004).
April 2007: After great growth and success in Manchester the congregation is released to become Audacious! Church under Glyn & Sophia Barrett who had been Associate Pastors in Hope City Church for 11 years.
September 2007: Teams road trip again and a Hope City Church in Newcastle is born.
Late 2008: The Sheffield Megacentre concert hall is expanded from a 600 seater to a 900 seater creating a brand new state-of-the-art concert venue and Hope City Leeds acquires a large multi-story warehouse and office building on the edge of the city centre looking straight out on to one of Leed’s busiest roads.
October 2009: A Hope City Church in Birmingham is launched on a Friday night in the city centre.
March 2010: A Hope City Church in Accra begins pre-launch meetings with a team being sent out from the UK as the church aims to plant it’s first international location.
January 2011: Hope City Leeds completes development of a new 400 seat auditorium and moves in.
June 2011: Hope City Church celebrates it’s 20th Birthday with a packed Sheffield City Hall and the Hope City Theatre Company wows the crowds and the city’s dignatories.
February 2012: The UK team land in Frankfurt in preparation for the start of a Hope City Church in Frankfurt – our first location on mainland Europe.
March 2013: With a massive roadtrip from all our locations and a whole bunch of Londoners we launch in England’s Capital with a bang – after a number of pre-launch events, weekly services for a Hope City Church in London start in September 2013.
June 2013: Hope City Church becomes an official C3 Church as we join forces with a global movement pioneered by Pastor Phil & Chris Pringle. Hope City is delighted to be part of the C3 Global movement which is believing to plant 1000 churches by 2020
September 2014: A team of adventurers move to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to prepare for an Easter 2015 launch of a Hope City Church in KL!
April 2015: Newcastle move to a permanent home in a great facility by the river.
October 2015: A team from Leeds heads out on a Sunday afternoon and launch our twelfth location – a Hope City Church in York!
Mid 2016: Hope City Church celebrated 25 years with a whole host of celebrations from a special Partners Ball through to our biggest family conference yet, Whitefields.
And the story continues…
(For an insight into the early years of Hope City Church read Ps Dave & Jenny’s book ‘Up the Creek without a Paddle’ which includes extracts from their diaries and letters.)