Nathan and Meredith Hopping came to pastor Harmony Church in June of 2014. In actuality Nate was appointed but as Meredith says, “We’ve always done ministry together and have no desire to do it apart.” This is a sentiment that this ministry couple hold firmly.
Harmony was a merger of two nearby community churches, just 5 years prior to the Hopping’s arrival. The church took turns each month, switching out Communion chalices; in the hallways, hung pictures equally representing each of the former congregation’s heritages. Sunday school classes, church ministries, friendships, prayer request and complaints seemed to flow in the same vain: preserving that which had been lost.
“When we noticed the calm division, our first step was to remove those objects of division,” Nathan shared. “We had been told that success in this setting was doubtful and we knew that the one thing that destroys the family of God quicker than anything else is division.”
So the Hopping’s got to work building relationships, reaching out into the community, providing opportunities for the elderly congregation to recognize the impact their lives could have for the Kingdom of God.
Reminiscing, Meredith says that, “Two years ago, we wouldn’t have believed we’d be starting a new service this year. I wouldn’t have believed that this congregation would deeply love us and us, them. But God is good. The work is far from complete! But we are seeing generations come together in unity, being transformed by the Spirit of Jesus. And so we work and we hope! And we have a lot of fun!”
Above all, the Hoppings have learned how important the idea of unity is to their ministry. “In communion we say, ‘one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory,’ this is our goal,” Says Nathan. “And we assume that will take up most of our time here on earth.”