Hope Church in Columbia to close this month

Friday, June 3, 2011 | 6:24 p.m. CDT; updated 11:17 a.m. CDT, Thursday, June 16, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri announced Friday that Columbia Hope Episcopal Church will close later this month.

The church, which is located in a rented storefront on John Garry Drive across from Cosmo-Bethel Park, held its first official service at that location in February 2009. It began in 2003 as a house church.

According to Beth Felice, director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, attendance at the church started at around 40 people per week and then dropped off. 

The decision to close the church was made after several discussions with church members, staff, leadership and outside consultants. 

"A decision like this is not taken lightly," the Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, said in the announcement. "There will be diocesan members disappointed, as well as those who will be relieved."

The church lacked the attendance and funding necessary for growth and to pay for the construction of a permanent structure. 

Another Episcopal church, Calvary Episcopal Church, is located on South Ninth Street in downtown Columbia. This location is considered healthy, Felice said.

The last service at Hope Church will be held June 26. 

"Any church start is risky," said Smith in the statement, "but even though it is risky, this diocese will continue finding new ways to spread the good news of Jesus Christ."

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Norman Lampton June 3, 2011 | 7:28 p.m.

For the 3rd time an attempt to expand the Episcopal presence in Columbia has failed. Common to all three attempts is the basis that the churches were to follow; that is; to be Politically Correct rather than Biblically Correct.

In 1960 23% of Americans professed to be some form of Anglican; the move to be Politically correct drove that to 0.6% in 2010. Numerous former Anglicans are moving to other denominations primarily Roman Catholic.

Calvary is legally bankrupt and even though they continue to cut expenses the income is not there as the members are not there. The fault however lies with those of us who in the 1980s failed to see the influx of pro abortion - pro homosexual members; who thought the bible could be molded to their political views; would destroy the church. The present Bishop is a disaster as were his two predecessors; he would rather do the popular thing than the right thing. NOTICE: the Episcopal Church is not a bible based church!

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