By SUSAN LYNCH
A few months ago, I spotted an empty church building setting beside Richmond Road. Being the dreamer that I am, I was grieved by the endless potential the building had to offer. My imagination runs wild sometimes, so my husband had to listen to weeks of my endless chatter about the ministries that could be ran from that little building. So, when I saw “Coming Soon-Hope on the Hill Ministries” written on the marquee a few short weeks later, I was more than a little excited and curious.
I met with James and Missy Ellett on May 26 to discuss their vision for the building. The Texas couple had already been holding church services and Bible studies there for close to a month, before I had the pleasure of sitting down to break bread with them (well, actually it was pizza, but the meaning was the same).
I was so thrilled to find that this couple had such huge hearts and dreams for Estill County. I was even more thrilled to find that they wanted to include everyone! James and Missy were only planning to visit Estill county while taking a “God-Guided” 40-day RV trip after the chemical plant that James had worked at for 27 years unexpectedly closed. Little did they know that God was guiding them straight into the path of a new ministry.
Before starting their journey, James had several dreams about the words “Hope on the Hill;” however, he assumed that the hill would be in Texas. Instead, that dream landed them in heart of Estill County looking at a church building and wondering what in the world God had planned for them.
The plan began to unfold quickly before the couple’s eyes, and they watched in amazement as things began to fall into place. It only takes a few moments to see that Hope on the Hill Ministries is more than just your average church. The feeling of love will overpower you from the time you step in the doors. The couple has remodeled some of the building already and are currently working on the fellowship hall as well.
The room that caught my attention was in the very back. There is a sign on the door that reads “Prayer Room.” Missy showed the room to me after we had lunch; it is breath taking. This room, along with the sanctuary, will soon be open for the public to use during much of the day. Those who may want to stop by and pray or take some time to just reflect on life but perhaps aren’t comfortable in a normal church setting will have the ability to do so.
“God didn’t bring us 1,000 miles to just be a church.” James told me, “We want to be so much more than that.”
His wife Missy talked to me briefly about some of the ministries they already have going and would like to add in the future. Now, the church is having Bible Study on Tuesdays at 7p.m., Intercessory Prayer Thursdays at 7p.m., Hope for the Ragamuffin (a recovery program) on Fridays at 7p.m., and Sunday night church services at 6 p.m.. They also plan to have drama, flags, and a youth program.
“I don’t care who you are, or where you’ve been, God wants you.” Missy said. “So many people feel like they just don’t belong, but regardless of your past you DO belong.” The Ellet’s want to extend a warm welcome to anyone looking for a home church or just a place to visit.
I was able to visit them Friday for their first recovery meeting, and I am looking very forward to visiting again soon.