The History of New Hope Baptist Church
The New Hope Baptist Church, with its seating capacity of 200, was organized at 1385 North 46th Street on Sunday, September 28, 1947, under the leadership of the late Rev. J. S. Wicks. The original fifty members ventured in faith to make an impact on the community. Adult Organizers and/or Adult Early Laborers who affiliated with New Hope in its earliest decade of 1947-1957, who have gone on to glory, include: Bro. & Sis. Exter & Nazarine Burrell, Sis. Mildred Chambers, Sis. Aszalee Chase, Sis. Mellene Dawson, Sis. Christine Jackson-Fisher, Sis. Jessie Ford, Sis. Georgia Foster, Bro. Samuel Gray, Bro.& Sis. Nelson & Irene Hills, Sis. Susie Hughes, Sis. Louvilla Lewis, Bro. Henry & Mamie Leonard, Bro. & Sis. Moses & Virginia Richard, Bro. & Sis. Lolo & Luella Rogers, Sis. Mary Shoals, Bro. T.C. Wicks, Sis. Theresa Wicks, and Pastor-Teacher J. S. Wicks. Presently, there are no living Adult Organizers.
Together, they secured governmental services and educational resources that were beneficial to the Eden Park community. This concern touched others, thus New Hope grew numerically and spiritually with Church Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, evangelistic efforts, and the formation of the Adult Music Ministry. Musicals and culinary endeavors were plentiful, and along with trips to beaches, funds were garnered to meet needs.
Pastor Wicks served as the under-shepherd for twenty-nine (29) years, when in the spirit of love in 1976, the second of only two pastors, Dr. Leo Daniel Cyrus, Sr., was installed on the fourth Sunday, August 22, 1976. The first sermon of this now forty-two (42) year under-shepherd was entitled, “Give Me This Mountain.” During Pastor Cyrus’ first revival, twenty-two (22) souls accepted Christ, thus the membership continued to grow. The first Children’s Choir was formed, Bible study began, the usher ministries increased, and the deaconess ministry was organized. As a consequence of spirit-led sermons and worship experiences, the North 46th Street sanctuary could no longer accommodate the increasing numbers.
Pastor Cyrus, along with a Relocation Committee, set out to find a new site to house the growth. The Relocation Committee included: Sis. Cleotha Alexis, Bro. George Brumfield, Bro. Eugene Davis, Sis. Christine Jackson-Fisher, Bro. Nelson Hills, Bro. LeRoy Hollins, Bro. Robert Knighten, Sis. Debra Martin, Sis. Mae McGuffrey, Bro. Ernest Piper, Bro. Moses Richard, Bro. Lolo Rogers, Sis. Luella Rogers, and Bro. Perkins Stewart. Several sites were explored, and the majority selected the current 5856 Greenwell Springs Road site. With Pastor Cyrus serving as General Contractor, New Hope began to construct the current edifice in 1985. Relocation and dedication services were held the week of November 27-December 3, 1988. Today, the membership continues to strive to keep the vision of the Church. When acquiring the Hope Center building, located at 5837 Greenwell Springs Road, several rooms are named after key New Hope families such as the Jackson-Fisher, Rogers, Hills, and Richard Rooms. The Nursery Room is named after the late “Mother of New Hope” and mother of our Pastor Leo Daniel Cyrus, Mrs. Alice G. Cyrus. There is no indebtedness for the Sanctuary, Educational Center, HOPE Center, and Parking Lots.
New Hope’s community involvement includes membership in the Community Association for the Welfare of School Children and East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Partnership in Education through the adoption of Capital Middle. New Hope is a consistent contributor to and supporter of Southern University.
The New Hope’s mission and vision statements focus on worship, fellowship, ministry, evangelism, and discipleship. As the New Hope Family grows in grace and in application of God’s Word, the membership will continue to serve the community that for 71 years after the organization on North 46th Street, still needs NEW HOPE.