The Name Says It All: New Hope Church

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New Hope Church


Prepared to take his life following a divorce, separation from his children and a high-pressure job as a police officer, Marc Davis sat on the side of his bed with a gun in hand when the phone rang. A fellow officer was calling in a favor to direct traffic at a “weird little church with bikers, rednecks and tattooed people” on the south side of Houston.

Not wanting to let his friend down, Davis put his plans on hold and headed to New Hope Church in Manvel, Texas.

“From that day forward it changed my life,” Davis says. “People came out of church so happy and friendly and waved with five fingers instead of one.”

One member who walked down the road from the church to thank Davis for his service befriended him during a conversation about firearms. On return traffic shifts, the man stopped coming all the way and would motion for Davis to walk closer to him until one day he was on the church property and could hear the sermon from the speakers on the church’s exterior. Davis became a Christian, met his current wife at New Hope and after 16 years as a police officer resigned to accept a position as the church’s chief operations leader in charge of security, maintaining property and expansion.

It’s stories like Davis’s that Lead Pastor Tim Liston credits as boosting New Hope from one site and 75 people in 1989 to almost 7,000 people worshipping at four campuses today.

“We don’t have a specific ministry that has as its purpose to grow the church,” Liston says. “We just try to grow the people. That creates a good story: a life turned around, a saved marriage, a better dad, better people. And the result is that they invite friends and family to attend—and the process of full devotion starts over in that person’s life.”

The nondenominational church has an industrial feel, with a stained concrete floor and seats with cup holders that men feel comfortable with.

“I am a man, and I hunt, fish, change my own oil and talk about sports to keep guys engaged,” says Liston, whose dad and four brothers are pastors. “I would lose them if I talked about the crimson sunset of the soul.”

Rhonda Sholar
Rhonda Sholar

Rhonda Sholar lives in Orange City, Florida, with her husband, Darrin, and two children. A newspaper and magazine writer and editor for 20 years, she returned to the classroom in 2013 to teach writing to 40 fourth graders.