Hope Comes to Sweet Home
Hope Church Sweet Home (AG)
Sweet Home, Oregon
“Thank you, AGTrust partners, for believing in and investing in our church through the AGTrust Matching Funds! You have helped change lives for Christ and helped Hope Church Sweet Home get off the ground! May the Lord bless each of you.”
Hope Church Sweet Home in Sweet Home, Oregon, led by Campus Pastors Mark and Robin Opperman, launched in October 2018 with 118 people in attendance.
Mark and Robin had moved their family to Sweet Home, Oregon, in January 2018 and believed God was calling them to minister there. The community of Sweet Home represents challenges of deep poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness. Less than 10 percent of the nearly 20,000 residents within a 10-mile radius attend church on any given weekend.
While the rural community already included Sweet Home Assembly of God, the church had been in decline and the pastor had retired. Prior to retirement, the pastor had communicated with Pastor Frank Silverii of Hope Church in Albany, Oregon, 30 miles northwest, about a plan to establish a strong church in Sweet Home.
Hope Church Sweet Home, launched in 2018, is one of 550 AGTrust Matching Funds church plants and is led by Campus Pastors Mark and Robin Opperman.
As a result Hope Church Albany formed a Parent Affiliated Church (PAC) relationship with the existing members of Sweet Home Assembly. At that point Pastor Silverii contacted the Oppermans about taking the pastoral role and they answered the call to become campus pastors of the Hope Church Sweet Home congregation.
The Hope Church Albany campus provided the Oppermans with personnel and resources to help strengthen the new work in Sweet Home, and this PAC partnership generated excitement in both the Sweet Home and Albany communities. Around 150 people came to each of the designated serve days to help restore the building at the Sweet Home location.
Members from the Hope Church Albany campus in Albany, Oregon, came to help Campus Pastors Mark and Robin Oppermans on Serve Days to restore the church building and strengthen the new church plant in Sweet Home, Oregon. About 150 volunteers came to serve.
“Prior to launch day, we received the AGTrust Matching Funds, provided in cooperation with The Church Multiplication Network,” Mark says. “Some of the funds were used to install new carpet and pew chairs, paint the entire auditorium, and renovate several classrooms. More funds were used to send direct mailers, purchase door hangers, and advertise in various ways. Additionally, new media equipment was purchased to facilitate the successful streaming of the sermon from the main campus.”
As campus pastors, the Oppermans are leading Hope Church Sweet Home and helping the congregation to establish relationships with members of the rural community through service outreaches.
One of the first major outreaches brought 170 people into the church for an outreach called G.L.O.W. (God Lighting Our World). The congregation also looks for Serve Day opportunities such as distributing free water during parades, volunteering to do trash pickup, providing free car washes, and showing appreciation to the city’s public schoolteachers.
Hope Church Sweet Home members reach out to the Sweet Home community to establish relationships and share the love of Christ by participating in Serve Day opportunities such as volunteering to do trash pickup, offering free water during parades, providing free car washes, and showing appreciation to the city’s public school teachers.
“We are one church, two locations,” says Campus Pastor Mark Opperman. “We are Hope Church, and Hope Church is us.”
A total of 550 church plants, including Hope Church Sweet Home, have received AGTrust Matching Funds to help them with start-up costs. These church plants have given more than $12.8 million to missions. Your gift to AGTrust today will be used to help plant another healthy church.