PREHISTORY (1960s-80s) Olive Freeman, a member of Oakland First Covenant Church and a fourth-grade teacher at Lazear Elementary School in Oakland, reached out to needy families among her students. This eventually led to the creation of Harbor House, a multi-service community development organization that continues to serve to this day in Oakland’s San Antonio Neighborhood.
FORMATIVE YEARS (1990s) Some volunteers at Harbor House began collaborating with in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship members arriving in Oakland. They organized “New Hope East Oakland Fellowship” in 1996, which incorporated in 1998, and then affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination in 1999. Outreach and ministry focused on neighborhood refugee families and youth.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT (2000s) NH purchased and renovated the 2626 E.16th property in part from proceeds from the successful Oak Park Apartments lawsuit. The church started Little Sprouts Preschool. A vital core of NH members settled into the local neighborhood, including numerous homeowning families. Worship and fellowship followed a Cell Church model, with most Sundays spent in individual members’ homes. Then, in 2006, regular Sunday worship began at the Youth Employment Partnership site.
CHALLENGES AND CHANGES (2010s) NH has responded to neighborhood needs and challenges with a tutoring ministry, outreach to unhoused neighbors, and connections with nearby parolees. NH has also wrestled with responses to local and national politics and debates, including Black Lives Matter, the 2016 election, immigration issues, and sexuality issues. The current season is one of renewing a vision for NH and its neighborhood, seeking a fresh embrace of discipleship, community, compassion, and justice.
New Hope in Print
- – Evangelical Covenant denominational magazine profile of New Hope early history:
“Under One Roof: How one community transformed their urban housing into new hope”
- – San Francisco Chronicle front page story on Joan Jeung and New Hope:
“Christian activists show faith in gritty community”
- – Russell Yee’s exploration of cultural contextualization in worship:
Worship on the Way: Exploring Asian North American Christian Experience
- – Josh Harper’s Sojourners essay:
“How Do You Love Your Neighbors When They’re ‘Bad’ People?”
- – The passing of New Hope youth minister José Durante:
“Slain Oakland Church Youth Director’s Final Good Deed”
“Youth Director Killed While Helping Stranded Motorist”
- – Russell Jeung’s story of “how a group of Asian immigrants took a privileged, wandering guy into their family and embraced me”:
“Saved by my Refugee Neighbors”
- – Crowdfunded solar power installation at YEP by Mosaic Inc.:
“Crowdfunding Clean Energy”
“Oakland Non-Profit Praised by White House”
“Mosaic Offers Solar Crowfunding”
- “Crowdfunding Solar Power and Youth Employment”
- – Bill Squires’ remembrance of NH neighbor Clarence Colbert
- – New Hope co-sponsored Oakland mayoral candidates’ forum:
“Sex trafficking, youth jobs and buses: mayoral candidates discuss at roundtable”
- – Evangelical Covenant cover story on women physician members of New Hope:
“Hearts of Mercy”
- – Russell Jeung’s spiritual autobiography:
At Home in Exile: Finding Jesus among My Ancestors & Refugee Neighbors
- – Public Radio International story on Pastor Dan and neighborhood storeowner Abdul Taleb:
“Muslim Immigrant and Christian Pastor Find Common Ground”