Belief: We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, the Trinity of the Godhead, the creation of man by the direct act of God, the fall of man and his need for Redemption, the Deity, Incarnation and Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST, His Vicarious Atonement for the sins of man-kind by the shedding of HIS Blood on the cross, the resurrection of His body for the tomb, His ascension into Heaven, His personal, imminent return, the Deity of the HOLY SPIRIT, justification of the believer by grace through faith, a literal Devil who is our adversary, a literal Heaven for the redeemed and a literal Hell for the lost, the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture to be Scripture itself, and the requirement of implicit obedience to the expressed commands of Christ as the standard by which He will judge our love to HIM. We have without mental reservation of any kind sincerely receive and adopted the above statement of Faith as being the fundamental doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures. History: Freed slaves started Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church shortly after the end of the Civil War. Not much is known about its early days, as a fire in the 1920 destroyed the original church records. Over the decades, Hopewell struggled to stay afloat, as the surrounding neighborhoods became a haven for drugs and gambling. Hopewells rebirth began in earnest in the 1980, when William L. Sheals was called as pastor. The membership numbered just under 200 and held services only twice a month. By 1983, the church had built a 400-seat sanctuary and was holding two services each Sunday. Five years later, membership grew to 2,000 and continued to soar. The current church membership roll stands at over 17,000. The once small church community of one building on two acres now has eleven buildings on over thirty acres. In addition to a 2,500 seat sanctuary, there is an administration and education facility, 500 capacity Christian Academy, youth center with after school and summer day camp, adult fitness center, on-site Bible Institute, Print Shop, day care center for 150 children 6 weeks to 4 years old, Christianomics Mall and Training Center including barber shop, beauty salon, nail salon, restaurant, Christian bookstore, Youth Bank and Credit Union. Hopewell offers more than 50 ministries and auxiliaries unmarried persons, couples teens and children. The Music and Arts Ministry includes four choirs, along with tape and video ministries and drama, dance and sign language ministries. Boy and Girl Scout troups are available, along with an active athletic recreation ministry.