Hope Fellowship Church keeps building from the ground up

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Construction Supervisor Aaron Seppala and Pastor Jordan Moody on the dais at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. Staff photo by Brandon Latham

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Construction is nearly complete in time for Easter at Hope Fellowship church in Jaffrey. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/13/2017 6:38:45 AM

One year ago, New Ipswich’s Hope Fellowship Church began erecting its own, brand new facility in Jaffrey. The former site just did not have enough space anymore.

This is a good problem to have, and a rare one.

In a time when a handful of local churches in the region have closed their doors and a rush of newcomers are recruiting their own congregations, Hope Fellowship needed to expand.

“We try to reach out to the community and be part of the community,” Deacon Chad Gibson said. “And I think Jordan, our pastor, has had something to do with it, people can relate to him.”

While walking around the new site, with estimated construction valued at $2 million, Pastor Jordan Moody said he has made mistakes, but an “army of volunteers” helped bring everything together.

While the estimated cost of the new site, located at 16 Prescott Road in Jaffrey, is in the millions, it is totally mortgage free and built by generous members of the community.

“Tons of guys in the church own their own construction companies so we were able to save tons of money doing it ourselves,” Moody said.

Among the workers burying electrical wires and laying sidewalks were some wearing t-shirts from Quality Concrete, Tru-Form Foundations and more.

“I lose track of all the guys who have given and donated,” he said.

Gibson had the task of heading the fundraising effort for the project and said, “It was all either donated materials and work, and some cash raised.”

Aaron Seppala, a church elder and project manager with the construction, said, “It’s amazing how we’ve put the project together with so little money ourselves.”

Capacity for services in Jaffrey will be roughly 500, about 200 more than at the New Ipswich rental location. Services will be in a large multi-purpose room at the core of the building, which can also house concerts, camps, dodgeball games and all sorts of activities, Moody said: “It’s not just a church, there’s so many different things this room can be used for.”

Around it is a horseshoe-like hallway with various rooms, including offices, conference rooms, a nursery, a coffee bar, a kitchen and spaces for different age groups. Sunday before the Easter service, they will accommodate a few hundred people for brunch at 9 a.m.

“Being a young pastor, I have an interest in investing in the future,” Moody, age 28, said. “We have lots of young people and lots of people we care deeply about.”

The church had plans to open for Palm Sunday, but that had to be postponed. Moody said they did not want to feel like they rushed. For Good Friday, though, they will be ready.

It’s not alone in opening for business during Easter season in the Monadnock Region, despite closures in the past year and poor nationwide trends for church membership.

According to Pew Research Center, 77 percent of American adults were religiously affiliated as of 2014, down dramatically from 83 percent in just 2007. Less than 30 percent of Millennials, Moody’s own generation, attend a religious service weekly.

Catherine Fogg, outreach coordinator for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peterborough, cites suspicion of the relationships between organized religion and politics and finance are causing young people to hesitate to be religiously active.

“There’s a lot of cultural shift, and we’re seeing less and less affiliation with organized religion,” she said. “We’re all trying to reach out to those in need.”

She is trying to begin an interfaith council in Peterborough, for which outreach will be an important mission, as well as noting the common trait between faiths of wanting to help those in need.

Moody said that one of the greatest accomplishments of the year-long development of the Jaffrey location for Hope Fellowship is that it never stopped its service, including Threads of Hope and overseas missions.

According to Moody, “This all came together because God was in it.”




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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