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New Community Hope Fellowship opens doors

By: Marlana Ward
Freelance writer

Johnson County is welcoming a new church to our area with the opening of Community Hope Fellowship, located at 1923 Highway 421 near the county bus garage.
Ministering to this new congregation will be Pastor Matt McCloskey.  Though hailing originally from New Jersey, Pastor Matt has made his home in the Greenville, Tennessee area for the past four years.  He is the proud father of two grown children and the beaming grandfather of two grandchildren.
Pastor Matt was ordained as a minister in New Jersey where he served as pastor for two non-denominational churches.  He is credentialed through the Assemblies of God.  He has a background in domestic mission work through community outreaches including food pantries, clothes closets, addiction counseling, and support groups.  He is also experienced in international mission work, having served in Uganda, Kenya, Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.
While serving as one of the pastors of a church in Greeneville as well as Director of the Community Center of Hope, Pastor Matt made a visit to Mountain City.  “The Lord prompted me to make a visit to an empty church in Mountain City,” he explained.  “I spent the weekend in that empty sanctuary seeking His will and low and behold, here I am.”
“To accept, to welcome, to love, to nurture and send as Jesus did” is Community Hope Fellowship’s mission statement.  “Our hope is in the Lord and He commanded us to love one another as I have loved you,” Pastor Matt shared of the church’s vision.  “If we keep that in mind; together we can do our part to further the Kingdom much more than we could do on our own.” Inspiration for the church’s mission statement and vision comes from Romans 12:4-5 which states:  “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”  
The church has already begun future plans for community outreach.  “Outreach has always been a big part of any ministry in which I have served,” Pastor Matt said.  “We want to utilize the property for community events.  We want to be creative with the mountain on the property.  We want our young folks to have some outlets.”

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