Where Faith Meets Family
The history of New Hope Community Church (NHCC) is intriguing and unusual. In October of 1992, two congregations merged together to become one church. What started out as an interesting opportunity has turned into an exciting adventure. The two churches that merged were Ashbrook Church of Fresno and New Hope Community Church of Clovis. Ashbrook was looking for a new location and New Hope was looking for a pastor. They ended up finding each other. God has a wonderful sense of humor.
Ashbrook Church was started in 1965 by Rev. Lonnie Rolen and was affiliated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Pastor Rolen led that congregation for 25 years. During that time they purchased property at 4141 N. Millbrook, built an educational building and a sanctuary. The church was founded with the specific intent to address the needs and concerns of young families with children. In 1990 Pastor Rolen retired and his son Tim McLain Rolen, was called to become Ashbrook’s second pastor in 25 years. The original NHCC was started by Pastor Bob Radtke in 1979. Pastor Radtke had been the Senior pastor of Bethany MennoniteBrethern Church in Fresno, but felt a strong call to start a non-denominational work in the Fresno/Clovis area that reached out and offered New Hope to families that had been broken and shattered by tragedy and turmoil. On September 23, 1983 Pastor Radtke submitted his resignation and Rick Wood became the Senior Pastor at New Hope Church.
In May of 1992, two men, one from each of the above mentioned churches, met at a local school function and God set into motion His plan for accomplishing a unique mission in this growing area of Clovis. After nearly 6 months of prayer, combined worship and fellowship experiences and many long Board Meetings, the decision to merge was put to a vote simultaneously at both churches. On October 17, 1992 at approximately 12:30 pm both congregations exceeded the 75% majority vote needed for approval of the merger. The following Sunday the two churches became one. New Hope Community Church was born.