LIVING HOPE CHURCH
It all started back in 1965 when Jim and Maxine Erickson relocated to Green Bay, Wisconsin from Minnesota. With them they brought their five young children, one of whom, was little Jeanne Erickson Bruette, wife of Pastor Jerry Bruette. The Ericksons knew that God brought them to Green Bay to share the Gospel. But little did they know what God had in store.
Fast forward a year to 1966 and Jeanne Erickson started taking Piano lessons from Patty Hancock. Eventually, Patty started coming to the Ericksons to give the lessons. Patty felt a different spirit in their home – a spirit of peace and love and started asking questions about that. It was a great opening and Jim and Maxine were invited to the Hancock home on a Thursday night. Patty, her husband John and a Priest were there. As a result of Erickson’s testimony, all knelt and asked Jesus into their hearts. Jim and Maxine came back the next week and that continued for many weeks.
It wasn’t long before they outgrew the living room and moved to a little empty church on Webster Avenue. That didn’t last long either, more space was needed and they were invited to use First Assembly of God Church on Thursday evenings. This Thursday night group called themselves “Interfaith” as it was made up of mostly Catholic nuns and new believers in Christ. Interfaith Fellowship became incorporated in 1974, and in 1977 became a full-time church at the Elk’s Club on the corner of Crooks & Adams.
The Holy Spirit continued to grow Interfaith Fellowship and in 1978 the Sunday Service was moved to West High School. By 1984, it became evident that Interfaith needed it’s own building and on September 2,1984 the first Sunday morning worship service was held at our current location,1840 W. Mason Street in Green Bay. Pastor Jim Erickson preached his last sermon on May 12, 1998, when Parkinson’s Disease made it too difficult for him to speak. He passed away on August 29, 2006. The mantel of Senior Pastor was passed on to Jerry Bruette, Pastor Jim’s son-in-law, who had been faithfully serving as co-Pastor of Interfaith Fellowship since 1981.
Under Pastor Jerry’s leadership, Interfaith Fellowship continued to grow and lives were changed, and in February 2007, the church name was officially changed to Living Hope Church. That same year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Interfaith Fellowship/Living Hope Church.
In 2008, The Able Church, a ministry of Camp Daniel, began a partnership with Living Hope Church to minister to people with various disabilities in our community.
The Holy Spirit continued to move and when Pastor Jerry retired as Senior Pastor in September of 2014, Pastor Mike LeClaire became the new Senior Pastor of Living Hope Church. Pastor Mike had been the Youth Director since 1994 and in 2006 was commissioned as Associate Pastor of the Youth Group, yet all along God was preparing him to become the Senior Pastor of Living Hope Church.
With the installation of Mike LeClaire as Senior Pastor, another exciting change happened at Living Hope Church. In 2014 we brought in the Celebrate Recovery program on Thursday evenings that ministers to all that have hurts, habits, or hang-ups through 12 steps of recovery. This life-changing program is overseen by Pastor James Kocian, who also serves as Associate Pastor of our Music Ministry.
The Holy Spirit is still moving at Living Hope Church! He is preparing us for something even BIGGER as we continue to seek God’s will. The community is being reached, lives are being changed, and relationships with the Lord are getting stronger!