The first record of Hope United Methodist Church (HUMC) was in 1844; however, records show that the church was organized as Southfield Methodist Episcopal Church in 1852. On October 6, 1853, the church was incorporated as a Methodist Society.
On July 16, 1946, Southfield Methodist Church purchased property for the sum of $6,500 to build a new church. A building fund drive was held in 1958 for the new church. On May 28, 1961, Consecration service was held at Southfield Methodist Church for the new building at Civic Center Drive and Berg Rd. in Southfield, MI.
On June 8, 1975, Southfield United Methodist Church and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church merged their small congregations to form Hope United Methodist Church.
Hope United Methodist Church was then already 131 years old and had been led by some 82 circuit and tenured pastors when Rev. Dr. Carlyle F. Stewart, III, an African American, was assigned as pastor the then all White congregation in June, 1983. In December, 1985, the first significant numbers of African Americans were elected to church leadership positions. This leadership transition period was also the beginning of the racial transition, which continued through 1989. At the same time, Hope began to experience a membership growth spurt and within a few years, had outgrown the Civic Center Drive and Berg Rd. location. On August 9, 1994, Hope United Methodist Church held its final formal worship service at the Northwestern Highway location; having purchased its current location for $3.4 million.
Between 1989 and 1994, HUMC experienced phenomenal growth. That growth continues today with membership over 4,200. Regular weekly attendance increased from approximately 60 Parishioners in 1985 to over 1,200 in attendance by 2002. Because of the ever-increasing membership, a number of significant changes have been made over the years—notably:
• A second worship service (7:30 a.m.) was added in 1993.
• A children’s worship service (Jesus Junction) was established in 1997.
• R.O.C.K. (Radicals on Course for the Kingdom) worship service for teens was added in 1997.
• Liturgical dance (initially introduced in 1990), was resurrected in 1999.
• Ministerial support grew from none to currently three full-time clergy along with five
part-time clergy
• Under Dr. Stewart’s tutelage, nearly a hundred clergy have trained at Hope and gone on to either pastor their own churches, serve in other areas of ministry, or retire after ministerial service.
Hope’s history continues to be written as we expand our current campus. Having built a
state-of-the-art gymnasium, education wing and administrative wing in 2003, Hope’s next visionary project is a 2,000-seat sanctuary.
Hope United Methodist Church’s rich history, especially its spiritual growth, can be summed up by its mission
“Hope United Methodist Church is a word-centered, Holy Spirit-directed body of Christian believers who evangelize, disciple, empower, nurture, and educate souls for Jesus Christ.”