Surely God smiled upon Ebenezer when He sent the Rev. Dr. Winfred M. Hope and his family to us on August 16, 1979. Since that time, Rev. Hope has demonstrated dynamic leadership combined with bold vision in the carrying out of God's plan for His people.
Winfred Martin Hope was born November 11, 1944, to the late Rev. Robert L. Hope, Sr. and Mrs. Zeola Hope (deceased) in Mobile, Alabama. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Fort Valley State College, the Master of Divinity from Morehouse School of Religion ITC, Atlanta, Georgia, and the Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California. Before coming to Ebenezer, Rev. Hope served in various churches as assistant pastor and as the pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Cairo, Ga. for seven years.
He is married to the lovely Betty Smith Hope, formerly of Dublin, Georgia. Mrs. Hope is a retired Early Childhood teacher from the Clarke County School District.Rev. and Mrs. Hope are the proud parents of two lovely daughters: Helen Yvonne (Marcus, son-in-law) Kimbrough, of Charlotte, North Carolina and Tracey Yvette Haynes (Ulysses) of Birmingham, Alabama. They have two grandsons, Austin and Avery Kimbrough.
Rev. Hope devotes a great deal of energy and time to the training of members into fruitful disciples. He deeply believes that in order to serve as Jesus served, members must be taught and trained according to God’s Word. Rev. Hope served as State Dean of the Christian Education for the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc. for more than 30+ years. During his tenure here at Ebenezer, Rev. Hope has established the following programs at Ebenezer: New Member Orientation, The Community Ministry Center (food and clothes bank), Wednesday Mid-Week services, Worship on Wednesday for the Homeless, church leadership conferences and retreats for ministry leaders, Wednesday Bible study classes for children, youth and adults; fellowship dinners, music and dance workshops open to the entire community, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, University of Georgia Foster Parent Program for students here in Athens, Georgia, and the development of a three phase building project with the completion of Phase I in August 2009, Renovation of the Church Sanctuary and the installation of the “Shepherd Murals” in the church foyer.
Under the leadership of Rev. Hope, Ebenezer West has experienced unprecedented growth both numerically and spiritually. Space does not allow enough room to list all that he has accomplished through his faith and trust in God here at Ebenezer and in the Athens community.
Truly God has blessed Ebenezer with such a wonderful, loving and caring pastor and first family.