Bridge of Hope has been around for more than sixty years having its start on August 23, 1953 in Struthers, Ohio as 35 young pioneers launched a new work for the Lord called Calvary Assembly of God. Over the years our church was led by 9 pastors and their family's.
Pastor Elvin Irwin started the church and led it for 3 years from 1953-1956. During much of his time as pastor they met in a IOOF Lodge Hall but towards the end the church purchased a piece of property on Boardman-Canfield Rd.
Pastor Anthony DePolo pastored the church for 2 years from 1956-1958. During his time they constructed a facility at 412 Boardman-Canfield Rd and began holding services there.
Pastor Raymond Tabor pastored the church for 7 years from 1958-1965. During his time the men of the church completed construction on the church building finally moving into their new 160 seat sanctuary.
Pastor Paul Dear pastored the church for 13 years from 1965-1978. During his time the church grew to 150 people, sold their property on Boardman-Canfield Rd, and built a new church on our current property that they moved into on April 4, 1970.
Pastor Gilbert Harris pastored the church for 4 years from 1979-1983. During his time as pastor the church grew rapidly to over 500 in attendance. Plans were made for an expansion onto the current facility to accommodate the growth.
Pastor Fred Spring pastored the church for 2 years from 1983-1985. During his time the church finished the construction of our current facility including a 1,350 seat sanctuary but the church went through a difficult time in 1985 and many left the church.
Pastor Craig Canfield pastored the church for 8 years from 1985-1993. During his time he pastored the church through a difficult season and many who were here saw him as a healer and restorer.
Pastor David Bennett pastored the church for 18 years from 1993-2011. During his time the church went through a rebirth as they paid down its large mortgage, changed the name from Calvary Assembly of God to Bridge of Hope Church, and saw some growth and stability restored.
Pastor Doug Reed, our current pastor, has been with us since 2013. He joins us as our 9th pastor after a two year search by the church to find its next leader. We look forward to all that the future holds for us.
Pastor Led, Staff Driven, Board Supported, & Congregation Empowered
When we say Pastor Led we mean that we believe God has divinely appointed a leader over our church that hears from the Lord, casts vision for the church, charts the primary spiritual course, and functions as our primary preacher/teacher.
When we say Staff Driven we mean that we believe God has raised up and brought to us other pastors, administrators, and ministry leaders that drive the vision of the Lead Pastor forward by leading the day to day operations of a growing church.
When we say Board Supported we mean that we believe God raises up from amongst the body men and women to serve our church by supporting our pastor by providing him with godly wisdom and counsel, prayers, financial accountability, and maintenance of the facility.
When we say Congregation Empowered we mean that we believe the primary function of the Pastors and Leaders of our church is to equip and empower the congregation to do the work of the ministry.