Some have planted the seed of the Gospel, others have watered it, but God made it grow. I Corinthians 3:6
The church that we now know as Hope Evangelical Free Church was started in April 1968. At that time, five families from the area felt the need for an evangelical church and began meeting together. One of the men, Mr. Gunnard Johnson, served as the pastor and Rev. Irv Peterson of First Free in Rockford helped in situations where an ordained minister was required.
In June 1969 Wallace Brown was called to be their first pastor and in January 1970, they formally voted to take the name “Hope Evangelical Free Church.” As the church grew, a permanent location was needed and the Roscoe Village Hall was purchased in 1971.
In January 1975, Rev. Don Fisher began his ministry at Hope and as the church grew, they purchased land in 1976 and built part of the current facility in 1979. Rev. Fisher served at Hope until 1982 at which time they called Rev. David Wiersbe to be their Senior Pastor until October 1998. As the church grew, they added a 13,000 square foot addition in 1991 and a second service in 1993.
In January 1999, Rev Robert Ahlberg accepted a call to be Senior Pastor of Hope. Hope
continued to grow under his leadership. In September 2005, Ken Bergstedt was called as Associate Pastor of Congregational Life and Seniors. Brad Schreiner was called as Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries in August 2007 and Jim Oakley was called as Associate Pastor of Youth in September 2011. Dr. Edward (Mickey) Klink III accepted a call to be Senior Pastor of Hope as of July 2014.
With the continued growth at Hope and the desire to outreach into our community, Hope Free Church built on to the existing bulding adding a new sanctuary, offices, music room, nurseries, and youth room. This addition was dedicated in July 2003.
Besides Hope’s support staff, we also have many very dedicated lay leaders. We look forward with anticipation to what God will do in and through Hope in the future.