Humble Beginnings

In April 1946, 500 leaflets were distributed throughout the community of Crystal and six weeks of persistence and prayer resulted in two children responding for Bible class at the local Village Hall. The vision for this class came from Miss Eljane Sandberg and Mr. Wilbur Matheson. Experiencing steady growth, that Bible class became Crystal Evangelical Free Church in 1949. The first building was constructed and Pastor Albert Sandberg was called to pastor the congregation.

Early Growing Pains

The original building was expanded twice within six years, with additional worship space added in 1960 under the subsequent pastorate of Arthur Hewitt. Christian education wings were erected in 1962 and 1967 under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth Meyer. Dr. Meyer was soon called to serve as President of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and was succeeded in 1967 by Thomas McDill. Several key staff were added and Genesis House, a dynamic coffee house outreach ministry to youth began. The Worship Center was once again enlarged in 1971.

A Move Of Faith

Growth continued, but further building expansion was prohibited by the City of Crystal. The vision for a move to New Hope was born. A new 800-seat facility on our present site was dedicated on Easter Sunday 1977. Elected president of the Evangelical Free Church of America, Dr. McDill was succeeded that year by Rev. James Olson. Dramatic growth continued under a strong teaching ministry and evangelistic outreach. As a result of faith and vision, a new 1,600-seat Worship Center was dedicated to the Lord in 1984. Crystal Free Church called Dr. David Fisher as pastor in 1986. Pastor Fisher led the church through some significant internal operation changes before completing his ministry in 1989.


Dr. Steve Goold accepted the call as senior pastor in 1990. The church experienced growth that led to acquisition of our Extended Campus and Hopebridge Center for community ministry. In 2007, the church family affirmed our present name as New Hope Church. 

In 2011, we faced the hard truth. The clock was ticking on our 34-year HVAC system. God used that challenge to rally the church family to not only raise funds to make this replacement, but go far beyond by eliminating our $3.9 million facilities mortgage debt. Over three years of prayer and the Rich in Generosity vision, New Hope Church became debt free. Today we are grateful as we humbly recognize that this milestone and experience has changed our church family forever.

In 2014, after 24 years of ministry, Dr. Goold sensed the Lord calling him away from NHC. He had served our congregation with vision and a commitment to teaching God's Word of truth. On September 13, 2016, Pastor Steve Goold passed away.

Our Future

Following a 13-month search, in August 2015 the New Hope Church family enthusiastically welcomed Dr. Matthew St. John as senior pastor. His motto, "moving toward Jesus and taking others with us" reflects his heart for Christ and people and this shines through his teaching, leading and vision.

God has provided during every transition and change we've experienced as a church. As we continue to seek Him in dependence for our future, we look forward to experiencing his amazing power, grace and redemption upon our church, community and the world around us.