We are thankful for the founders who followed God’s directive to start this church. We seek His blessings in all that we do, and ask that He will continue to direct us in all our endeavors. Each generation has added to the foundation that was laid in 1902.

According to our records, the church was established in 1902 when a small group of Christian workers, believing in a vision of the founder and leader, Rev, J. P. Brown, was organized. The church was first called Hopewell Missionary Second Baptist Church. It was located at this time on the corner of East Jackson and North Wall streets in Carbondale, Illinois where the Gillespie Temple stood for many years. There was no baptism pool so each time a new member wanted to be baptized, it took place in the “twin pond” on East Birch street or the Crab Orchard Creek on East Main Street, about where the Horizon Inn is now located.

It was during the early 1920’s that a fire of unknown origin did extensive damage to the church building on the corner. Repairs were made, but later it was decided that the church was not a safe place to hold worship services. The congregation temporarily held services in the Masonic Hall located on the corner of East Jackson and North Washington streets. On or about September 22, 1924, Bro. W.J. Anderson, Bro. William Snoots, Bro. G.T. Terry, Bro. Leon Williams and Bro. Thomas, trustees at Hopewell, purchased the property at 400 East Jackson for around $1,250 for the construction of the church. During the early 1930s the basement was completed.

From 1933 to 1935, under the pastor ship of Rev. W.M. Moody, the members were able to purchase used bricks after a large building across town had been damaged by a windstorm. The men of the church and friends within the community sat day after day cleaning the bricks while the women worked diligently to prepare meals for them during the long, hard house they worked. The members felt it would take years to get enough money to build the sanctuary, but through prayer and sacrifices, they were able to enter the new structure in November of 1936, under the name of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. The dedication service was officiated by Rev. E.M. Porter, administered by Trustees: Bro. Levi Harris, Bro. Slaughter L. Brown, Bro. W. J. Anderson, Bro. Mack McClair, Bro. A.D. Hillsman and Bro. James Box.

Rev. W.H. Clark was the first pastor in the new church. He served Hopewell from 1936 to 1946. Rev. Clark worked on the church while he was the pastor; he left his job working at the coal mines to become a full time pastor. Under his leadership, the basement was used from 1943 to 1945 by Attucks Grade School for their kindergarten classes. Sis. Leola Nichols and Sis. Annie Wilson worked with the classes. Rev. Clark would on occasion preach to the inmates at the Chester Penitentiary and the church accompanied him.

Rev. Lewis Bynum and Rev. Hunter pastured Hopewell from 1947 to 1954.

In 1954, Rev. Grover T. Allen became the pastor. It was during his leadership that “Night Sunday School” was held every November. Rev. Allen served Hopewell until he was killed in an automobile accident during 1956.

Rev. Gregory served as pastor in 1956.

From 1957 through 1959, Rev. C.C. Clayton was the shepherd of the flock. It was during his leadership that a piano, organ, pulpit furniture and new pews were purchased. He also pastured from 1966-1969. During this pastorship the church had the largest attendance for vacation bible school. He was also a full time teacher in the Pulaski County area.

1963-1966 it was under the guidance of Rev. David H. Moore that new carpeting was laid.

1969-1974 the church was under the leadership of Rev. C.C. McClenda and Rev. Johnson.

1974-1979 brought changes to the basement and the kitchen area under Rev. Richard L. Daniels. Rev. A. William Staten, Sr. preached his trial sermon on August 3, 1979. He served as Associate Minister August 1979 to June 1980. He is currently Pastor at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

1981-1982 during the short administration of Rev. James S. Hubbard, Hopewell was incorporated, the front of the church was remodeled and the church bought its first van.

1982 Rev. Michael Coleman served as interim pastor.

1983 Rev. E.B. Phillips was interim pastor when the deacons installed the office doors to the pastor’s office.

1983-1985 ushered in the return of Rev. Richard L. Daniels. During this time the new heating and cooling system was installed, new chairs were purchased, a new public address system and answering service was installed. The food pantry was built an upright freezer and refrigerator was donated to the church. Six associate ministers served under Rev. Daniels; Rev. James Anderson, Jr. Rev. Daryl K. Cox, Rev. Adrine Hendricks, Rev. Robert Johnson, Rev. Raymond Little, St. and Rev. Mitchell Ware.

1985-1986 Rev. Leroy Lockridge served as interim pastor.

1987-2001 Rev. Walter W. Matthews took over the supervision of the church. The church continued to grow spiritually, financially and physically. The physical appearance of the sanctuary and the lower auditorium was upgraded. New choir robes and office equipment were purchased, the heating and cooling system was improved, a commercial range and new refrigerator were purchased for the kitchen and the sanctuary was painted. Two lots adjacent the church was purchased. A mortgage retirement plan was activated in 1989.

1994 the historical Attucks Grade school property was purchased for the site of the new church. What was a 20-year mortgage was retired in three years. A group of members formed a building committee to view various plans and they voted on a two-phase project.

In 1997 the church added the following new items; a van, copier, computer, piano, choir robes and drum set. After only five years, the 30 year mortgage on the Attucks property was paid off. The ground breaking for the new church took place on December 12, 1999. Excavation and construction (phase 1) began on the 9,000 plus square feet sanctuary in April of 2000. Enough of the construction was completed in the early fall of 2001; the move to the new building was made.

On April 22, 2001 a farewell celebration was given for Pastor Matthews and the first family. Rev. Matthews accepted the position of pastor at a church in the Chicago area. Rev. Matthews served Hopewell for 14 years.

Fourteen associate ministers served during Rev. Matthews’ tenure with Hopewell; Rev. Daryl K. Cox, Rev. James Anderson, Jr. Rev. Hycel B. Taylor, Rev. Romell Peterson, Rev. Dwight Gunn, Rev. Marlon Morgan, Rev. Ruben Broadnax, Rev. Mark Anderson, Rev. Frederick Qualls, Rev. Virgil Walton, Rev. Wayne Lenox, Rev. William White, Rev. Arthur Sudduth and Rev. Michael Broadnax.

2001 Rev. Virgil Walton served as interim pastor. During his leadership the new sanctuary was completed. We entered our new sanctuary on November 18, 2001. At this time about 95% of Phase I was completed. On April 14, 2002, the new sanctuary was dedicated.

The 3rd Sunday in February of 2002 God shared one of His unique and uncommon soldiers with the Hopewell family. At a time when the church was perplex and confused. Minister Christopher-Michael Barnes came preaching from

Galatians 6:9 “Frustration is the beginning of Favor”.

This message was indeed prophetic and providential. After electing Minister Barnes as Pastor with a majority vote, the 1st Sunday in August 2002 began an era of great favor and anointing upon our ministry.

Within weeks the attendance grew from the preaching, teaching, and praying of this 28 year old prophet from Memphis, Tennessee. Record numbers were recorded during the tenure of this Man of God in ministry impact, attendance, and financial giving.

Pastor Barnes transitioned Hopewell to dynamics of five-fold ministry that she has never experienced in her over 100 years. Pastor Barnes emptied himself weekly with heartfelt anointed messages and bible study series that filled to capacity our worship center by attracting all races and ethnicities from the Southern Illinois region.

In addition, Pastor Barnes taught us how to produce cutting edge conferences with national recognized speakers and ministry endeavors that changed the expectation of God. The annual Movement Conference, Sexual Healing Conferences, Pamper-me-pretty, and caroling in university mall were all monumental experiences for the region and city of Carbondale.

Here are additional achievements of Hopewell under the divine leadership of Pastor Christopher-Michael Barnes:

  • Hundreds baptized into the Kingdom of God
  • Re-establishing the Music Ministry
  • Organizing & Erecting new ministries such as : (Ministry of Magnification, Alpha & Omega Men’s Ministry, Women at the Well, Daughters of Rizpah, REMIX youth ministry, Hip-Hop Youth Ministry, Mark 10:16 Nursery, Security Ministry, Samaritan Club)
  • Gave birth to many sons and daughters (Assistant Pastor Eddie Tolbert, Minister Ebony Tolbert, Minister Mike Williams, Minister Chester Hood, Minister Jeremy Williams, Minister Janet Russell, Minister Christopher Swims, Minister Alecia Eubanks)
  • Established and Designed HMBC logo
  • New acrylic Pulpit
  • Established a tag line “A Church where the Spirit Never Runs Dry”
  • Purchased two new Church signs
  • Extended parking lot
  • Landscaping of Church campus
  • Purchased of additional row of Pews and choir chairs
  • Purchased and upgraded Sound System
  • Purchased and upgraded Instruments
  • New computers for Office Managers and Trustee Ministry
  • Development of church website
  • Addition of Phase Two (i.e. Commercial Kitchen, nursery, New Trustee Office & Counting Room, four classrooms, Movie Size screen and projector for overflow and “Movie with a message night”.)
  • Naming of Phase Two “Anderson Hall”, Nursery “Ivy-Thomas Nursery”
  • Remodeling of Existing Sanctuary included(New Office manager’s Office, Coat Room, Minister or Deacon’s office, Washer and Dryer Room, Cry room/class room, Multi-media screens ready for 21st century ministry.)
  • Average 100+ members at Wednesday Bible Study
  • Record levels of Tithes and offering each year with a record in giving in 2006 of $230k
  • Empowerment Training, Leadership Sessions, and New Member Orientation

Because Five is the number of Grace, we indeed experienced under Pastor Christopher-Michael Barnes, the grace of God with five fruitful years of ministry for the Kingdom. In April 2007 Pastor Barnes resigned from Hopewell citing that God is calling him to an Apostolic call in the Kingdom. We love and support the calling of God upon his life and we thank God for the privilege.

Pastor Barnes before departing Hopewell appointed one of his sons in the ministry Minister Christopher E. Swims as interim pastor.

Elder Christopher E. Swims was given the awesome task of standing in the gap as Interim Pastor for two years. Under his administration stability was established and maintained to keep the ministry focused. Ministers Chaise Miller and Alecia Eubanks received their ministerial license to preach the gospel and Elder Ladonna Hodges joined our ministerial staff. Minister Eubanks was the first female to receive her ministerial license in the history of Hopewell.

In April of 2009 Dr. Jonathan Jermaine Jordan, of Chicago, IL took the helm as Pastor of Hopewell. Under his leadership Ministers Kurt Ford and Lynn Young were licensed into the ministry and Elder Chaise Miller was ordained.

After the departure of Dr. Jordan, Elder Swims stood in the gap again, as Interim Pastor. During three years of transition and uncertainty, God demonstrated once again that HIS grace is sufficient. Many doubted and spoke against the ministry, but God’s power prevailed through it all. On November 21, 2010, Elder Swims was elected Pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. With the help of the Lord, Hopewell is endeavoring to be a Christ-centered Ministry that gives Help to our city, Restoration to our community and Hope to our world through Kingdom Authority.