Hope United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Rev. Jim Bongard
Cheryl Morris
Steve Smith
Lisa Helock
Lynn Miller
Lorena Gockley
Doreen Deamer

Church Staff


Rev. Jim Bongard


Pastor Jim is a native of New Jersey, having spent 24 years in rural, “slower-lower” Delaware. Baptized in the Lutheran church (Missouri Synod), the family became members in the Methodist Church (as it was then called) where he was confirmed at age 13. He quickly became serious about his faith; attending church regularly and studying the Scriptures with interest. He soon developed a passion for theology and a hunger to serve the Lord. But his call into ministry did not come right away! It would be years before God would call him into full-time pulpit ministry.
In those intervening years, Pastor Jim became a Lay Speaker in 1983, worked with computers in the finance industry, and eventually received a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Literature combined with Music Education from Northeastern Bible College in 1988. In 1989, he married Karen (now the pastor of Salem UMC in Rothsville!) and moved to Delaware the following year.
Having worked with barbershop choruses for about 25 years, Jim was called to be the Choir Director for Mt. Olivet UMC in Seaford, DE in 2000. By the end of 2001, he had what he calls “that ‘2 by 4’ moment” when God called him to go into full-time pastoral ministry. In 2003, he left his position at Mt Olivet and was appointed to a circuit of three small churches in DE.
Jim and Karen went through seminary together (she heard her call in 2002), graduated with Masters of Divinity, and were subsequently commissioned and then ordained together a few years later. Now it is their joy to be serving the Lord in Lancaster County—the home of their hearts. They live in White Horse, six miles east of Intercourse, where they spend their time with their rough and tumble nine-year-old, Dickon—the family dog!
Life is full of twists and turns, so there is much more to their story. With an ardent love for the Lord, Jim comes to Hope UMC to share his gifts and encourage you as we all journey forward together in faith.
***Factoids ⇒
Favorite Food > Chocolate

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Youth Director

Steve grew up in rural Huntingdon County near Lake Raystown, PA. He was raised in an active Christian home and has been a member of the United Methodist Church since he was 12. He graduated from the Huntingdon Area High School with high honors in 1981 and went on to Penn State University to earn a B.S. in Biology in 1985.
A member of the ROTC in college, Steve was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army upon graduation. He attended the U.S. Army Basic Ordnance Officer School at Aberdeen Proving Ground and completed that training in 1986. From there he went on to serve nine years in the Army Reserves as a platoon leader for the first seven years and as a supply officer and Executive Officer to the battalion headquarters for the final two years. His unit was activated for Operation Desert Storm and he served in Saudi Arabia for four months during that conflict. He left the service with the rank of Captain.
Steve worked in the construction industry since moving to the Ephrata area 27 years ago and has owned his own business for the past 22 years. He recently took on the role of Head Coach for the Ephrata High School Rifle team, after being the assistant coach for one year and the match score keeper for the previous ten years.
Steve met his wife Martha shortly before graduating from college. He proposed to her the following Christmas Eve and they married 15 months later; they have been married for 26 years. Steve and Martha have two daughters. Laurelin is 25, and she and her husband Joey live in Brownstown. Abby is 18 and heading off to West Chester University this Fall.
Steve and Martha have been Girl Scout leaders for 17 years, working with girls of all age groups.
They have attended Hope Church for the past 25 years and Steve has been helping with the youth for the last five. He felt a strong calling to work with the youth and started as a volunteer last November and then as the full-time leader starting in January of this year. He really enjoys working with kids and hopes that he can pass on some of his knowledge to them in a way that will help them in their lives.
Steve enjoys reading, watching movies, studying military history, and collecting things in his spare time. He enjoys the outdoors and loves taking photos of Civil War battlefields and going hunting when he gets the chance.
***Factoids ⇒

Pet > A cat named Peach

Travel (Countries) > Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Saudi Arabia

Travel (Cities) > Paris, Berlin, Zurich, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Charlotte, Houston, and many others.

Travel Wish List > Returning to Paris with his wife, Martha.

Vacation Wish List > Touring the Vicksburg and Shiloh battlefields

Unusual Project > He undertook to photograph every monument and marker on the Gettysburg battlefield. There are nearly 1,000 of them and a few have been pretty much lost to the general public. It took him 2 1/2 years to find all of them.


Charity — American Cancer Society
College Football — Penn State
NFL — Miami Dolphins
NASCAR - Jeff Gordon
Other Sports  Winter Olympics
Book — The Lord of the Rings
Movie — A Christmas Story
"Bible" Movie — Ben Hur (he has watched that movie near Easter almost every year since he was old enough)
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Lisa Helock

Director of Music


Lynn Miller

Handbell Choir Director

Lynn has been a member of Hope Church since the late 1980s. She is thankful for her Hope Church family and all of the support and nurturing it has given her and her own family. 

Lynn is a graduate of Annville-Cleona High School and Elizabethtown College. Her husband, Don, is an active member who has served in numerous capacities in the church. She and Don have a daughter, Elana, and a son, Aaron. Elana and her husband Nick are the parents of Caleb.

Lynn was a past Hope Preschool 4-year-old teacher and director. Currently she directs the Bells of Hope. The choir serves regularly in worship services on Sunday mornings.
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Lorena Gockley



Doreen Deamer


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