Church History

In January of 1988, Russ and Janie Cox were asked by Del Cerro Baptist Church in La Mesa to come to San Diego to explore the possibility of starting a new, evangelical church in the South Bay area of the county.history21-300x198

In April of 1988, the Cox family moved to the east Chula Vista/Bonita area to start New Hope Community Church. It was decided that the church would be launched by using two primary means: small groups and telemarketing. A team had surveyed the area during the summer of 1987 and had discovered some potential prospects for the church.

However, almost 9 months later when the Coxs’ arrived, these families had already found church homes. The idea of building a core group through Bible studies never materialized. During the months of July and August of 1988 a phone bank was set up at Del Cerro Baptist Church. With the help of volunteers from Del Cerro over 17,000 phone calls were made to the ministry area in the South Bay. The telemarketing project was designed to essentially ask two questions: (1) are you an active participant in a local church. If the answer was yes, that ended the phone conversation. The goal was not to take people away from existing churches. (2) If the answer was no, the person was told about a new church that was beginning and asked if they like to receive information about it. Market research showed that 10% of the dial ups would want to be on the mailing list. That figure held true as 1,700 people wound up requesting information about New Hope.

Between August and late September those on the mailing list received 4 direct mail pieces about New Hope. On September 25, 1988 an “instant” new church was born. Market research indicated that 10% of those on the mailing list should attend the first service and half of that number should stay and become part of the church. Unfortunately that wasn’t true. At the first service there were 129 people. Of those 129, 10 were friends from San Francisco and about 30 were well-wishers from our mother church, Del Cerro. There were about 90 true prospects for the church and indeed about half of the 90 stayed. New Hope began with about 45 people, adults and children combined.

From the church’s inception the ministry philosophy and strategy was followed. The church has shown steady and consistent growth both numerically and financially. New Hope has just seen the tip of the iceberg in regards to the great things God is planning to do in and through the life of our church.