-Est. 1929

From home prayer meetings...

...to an established church!

From the desire of Pentecostal women...

...to an Assemblies of God body!
          The history of Hope Church started during the 1920's when a small group of local women began holding prayer meetings in their homes. Their hearts' desire was to see a Pentecostal church established in this area. In the spring of 1929 Evangelist Peter Jepson arrived to conduct tent meetings in Appleton. The following summer, in 1930, Rev. Bert Webb and Alvin Wray conducted a tent campaign on the corner of North Richmond Street and West Wisconsin Avenue. That fall, they were succeeded by Rev. Emil Lindquist. By now the new church, remembered as Gospel Tabernacle by some and Pentecostal Evangelical Tabernacle by others, was organized and held regular meetings at the Women's Club Annex at 113 W. Harris Street in Appleton. From February to March of 1931 Rev. Johnson, from Green Bay, ministered. He was then followed by Rev. Gorham from March to May of 1931.
          In May of 1931 Rev. Lawrence Olson was the first settled pastor, making his home in Appleton and Clarence O. Goudie served as associate pastor before leaving for Central Bible Institute to continue his studies.
          The church purchased Zion Jewish Temple, in 1932, for the sum of $7,000. Often identified as "the little church on the corner of Durkee and Harris," the building still stands today and houses the Outagamie County Historical Society Workshop. In that same year the church became affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God and changed its name to Appleton Gospel Temple.

          Rev. Olson left in October 1934 and was succeeded by Rev. G. J. Unruh, then District Superintendent of the Wisconsin Northern Michigan District of the Assemblies of God with headquarters in Oshkosh. Rev. Unruh remained until Rev. Goudie returned to pastor the church in October of 1935. He served the congregation until 1944 when he was called to the mission field.
          From those early years three young women of Gospel Temple sought the life of a missionary. They were: Hilda (Refke) Roman, missionary to Cuba; Claudia (Dell) Wakefield, missionary to Nigeria, Togo, and Senegal; and Adelinle Wichman, missionary to West Africa (Ghana).
          Over the next several years Appleton Gospel Temple was pastored by the Reverends Donald Waggoner in1944, Cedric Wilcox in 1946, H. Redfield Brown in 1950, and Earle Cleveland in 1959. In 1958 the congregation voted to change its name to First Assembly of God and purchased property on Lillian and Kesting Courts for proposed expansion. A parsonage was constructed on Lillian Court and dedicated the same year, 1963. Rev. Victor Hillestad pastored First Assembly from 1961 to 1968. During its history, the church experienced several cycles of growth and then the start of new congregations.
Rev. Daniel Spina was then called to be the pastor from Marinette, Wisconsin in 1968. Under Pastor Dan and Beth Spina's leadership the church grew from a nucleus of 60 in 1968 to 1200 in 1990. This expansion necessitating five building programs, three expanding the Kesting Court location and two building the current Office Building (then an Activity Center) and Worship Center at 311 W. Evergreen Dr., northeast of I-41 and Hwy. 47 in Appleton. Of course the staff also multiplied during this time as did the various ministries and the support of many missionaries both at home and abroad.
          In 1991 Rev. William Meyers came with his wife Vicki Meyers as senior pastor to First Assembly from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The educational wing of our current facility was completed early in his ministry here. While he ministered here a revival broke out bringing with it a renewal of the gifts of the Spirit and praise and worship. Friday night revival services were established and very well attended. The church was privileged to sit under the ministry of many well known speakers during this time. Several people who are now a part of the congregation came to know the Lord during the revival.
Early in 2004 Pastor Meyers led the church in changing the church name to Kingsway International Church. Shortly thereafter he resigned. This was a turbulent time for the church body. Both some staff members and congregants migrated to other local ministries for various reasons, leaving a nucleus of devoted people, determined to see their church go forward.
          On November 14, 2004 Rev. Bruce Dailey was voted in as the church's senior pastor. In an attempt to join the present with the past and reclaim some of the history and reputation of First Assembly of God, the church voted to change the name to Kingsway Assembly of God. In the summer of 2007 the Evergreen property was sold and the church moved to 1215 Buchanan in Little Chute. With this move and the redefined vision, the body has voted to change the name to Home Church. The church is still an Assemblies of God church. It is not breaking with the past, just stepping up to the challenges and culture of today.
          In the summer of 2012 the church bought four of the five suites in the strip-mall on the corner of Mason and Wisconsin in Downtown Appleton.  In the fall of 2013 a demographic study of the neighborhood and the churches and ministries in the valley was started.  Renovation of three of the four suites took place the spring and summer of 2014.  A thorough review of the churches vision and mission along with demographic studies resulted in the church changing its name when it relocated from Little Chute to the current facilities at 1320 W. Wisconsin Ave, Appleton.
          Many of our members, from the founding of the church down through the years, have gone into full-time Christian service as missionaries, pastors, teachers and other Christian workers. We continue to look forward to great things as the Lord leads and guides us in his service.