Welcome to Converge MidAmerica Hope Community Church

Laura Anderson

Director of Marketing

  • Church planting & multiplication

If Marshall Gallagher could use one word to describe the state of Hope Community Church, it would be “weird.”

As Gallagher was working on planting a church in Nashville, he didn’t foresee the incredible path that God had planned for him and his future church. In 2017 he started working with Danny Parmelee, Converge MidAmerica’s VP of Church Planting, and attended the Converge Assessment Center. After the assessment, he raised funds, started up a launch team and went full-steam ahead with plans to launch a new church in January of 2019.

Then, a close friend reached out to Gallagher because he was leaving his pastoral role for a job in Chicago. This provided an amazing opportunity. After much prayer and discussion amongst Marshall, his launch team, the planting pastor of Hope and members of Hope, they decided to combine forces. Marshall would take on the lead pastor role and bring his launch team to be part of Hope. Hope Community Church resides in a quaint building from the 20s that has been handed off between many different churches and denominations over the years. Seven years ago when one of the former churches was preparing to close its doors, Hope’s founding pastor used the building to start up Hope Community Church as a new plant. The pastor took a minimal salary and lived in the parsonage next door while working bi-vocationally.

Gallagher doesn’t label his joining Hope as a merger, a church plant or even a replant. It’s a transition that’s a weird hybrid of its own (almost as weird as Hattie B’s Nashville hot chicken).

While Hope already had a base of young twentysomethings and people in retirement, it lacked those in the middle of life. With the new wave of people coming from Gallagher’s launch team, the congregation age has diversified and the children’s ministry and worship ministry has tripled. Gallagher believes it’s a great combination of different personality types and strengths joining together.

Gallagher has been connected with Converge for a while, so it was natural for him to start planting a church with Converge--and then after his transition to Hope, bring Hope church into Converge. He got to know the ministry well through his former role as a youth pastor at a Converge church while attending seminary. Gallagher said he is consistently pleased with what he sees and believes that Converge is one of the strongest church planting networks. He is also impressed by the diversity at Converge. He said that while it’s common for an organization to use diverse photos in their promotional materials, when you show up at a Converge event, you can really see the reflection of that diversity in all the people there.

Going forward, Gallagher’s main focus is unity. He’s seeking unity between Hope’s existing congregation and his launch team, and unity between Hope Community Church and Converge MidAmerica. He wants to continue leveraging relationships and resources for better ministry in the city of Nashville. Gallagher believes that a partnership with Converge will allow Hope to leverage who they are to improve the spread of the gospel.  Hope is also actively exploring how they can build a residency program to raise up young pastor and church planters.

We’re excited to have Hope Community Church as a part of our family of churches!

 

Laura Anderson, Director of Marketing

Laura Anderson is the Director of Marketing for Converge MidAmerica.

Additional articles by Laura Anderson