Hope House Church, which is affiliated with the Association of Related Churches, has sent mailouts to every address in Walker County as a way to reach out to community before Sunday’s launch service at 10 a.m.
“Our mailout says, ‘You were made to ... belong,’” Pastor Thomas Martin said. “That’s exactly what we believe. We want everyone in Walker County to know they will be welcome at Hope House Church.”
Martin said the decision to hold church services at a high school was an easy one to make.
“It’s not a church building, and that alone might make people more comfortable,” he said. “Hope House will be a very laid back atmosphere. I’ll be preaching in jeans. It’s not about what you look like or how you are dressed. We want to be here for anyone. If someone is still drunk from Saturday night, they are welcome. If someone wants to wear a halter top, we won’t be judging. We are going to love everyone.”
Martin said many churches have negative preaching. He said the Gospel should be good news.
“Jesus loves you, and that’s what we want people to know,” he said. “We will have relevant preaching that is applicable to someone’s life.”
Hope House will also feature a band, which Martin described as “excellent.”
“We have a few professional musicians in the band, and we have some local talent,” he said. “It will be progressive music that I think people will really enjoy. I expect people will walk in and hear the band and want to be a part of it.”
The church will also feature a full children’s ministry for kids from birth until the sixth grade.
“All our children’s workers will have a background check,” Martin said. “It will be a safe atmosphere for people’s children.”
Martin currently lives in the small Winston County town of Houston, but he has worked in Jasper for 11 years.
“During my time in Jasper, we’ve been a part of a weekly prayer meeting,” he said. “This church was born out of that prayer meeting. We feel like the area needs something different. We want to be involved in the community and have many plans for the coming months to get out and take care of this community.”
Martin has been a pastor, in a variety of capacities, for 13 years. He is married to his wife, Rhonda, and the couple has two children.
For more information on Hope House Church, visit www.hopehousechurch.com or call 205-717-HOPE.