July 26th, 1997 Church of Hope was born -in Pierre SD at SDWP and was held in the old armory building with the female trustees that came to Pierre to finish building the women’s prison from Springfield.
COH was originally founded by Prison Congregations of America and by the American Baptist Churches of the Dakotas and American Baptist Home Mission Societies, who continue to support the ministry today. Currently, many area denominations and churches support COH, as we continue to support women at risk in South Dakota.
Isaiah 61:1 “The spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has SENT me to comfort the brokenhearted, and to announce that captives will be released, and prisoners will be freed.”
STATEMENT OF FAITH
TAKEN FROM PRISON FELLOWSHIP
THE FOUNDATION OF WHAT WE BELIEVE
As a Christian organization, COH believes in the full authority of the Bible as God’s inspired Word and the complete tenets of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
We believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe, the co-eternal Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary, atoning death on the cross, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven where, as truly God and truly man, He is the only mediator between God and man. We believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word, without error in all its teachings.
HOW WE ARE COMPELLED TO LIVE AND TO ACT
We believe that Christians, both individually and corporately, must submit to the Bible as God’s authoritative, divine, and inspired Word in all matters of belief and conduct.
HOW OUR MISSION AND OUR APPROACH IS SHAPED
COH exists to bring glory to God and share His truth and love with those we serve, our employees, volunteers, and communities, according to scriptural truths.
Our mission is to help restore those affected by crime and incarceration. This mission is founded on the biblical conviction that all people are created in God’s image and that no life is beyond God’s reach.
Therefore, we believe that a restorative approach to prisoners, former prisoners, and all those affected by crime and incarceration reflects the God-given dignity and potential of every person and can help individual lives and communities flourish.
WHAT THE HOPE OF JESUS MEANS FOR OTHERS
We believe that Jesus—Himself brought to trial, executed, buried, and brought to life again—offers hope, healing, and a new purpose for each life. He can make even the most broken people and situations affected by crime and incarceration whole again.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR COMMUNITIES
Through an amazing awakening to new hope and life purpose available through Jesus, those who once broke the law are transformed and mobilized to serve their neighbors, replacing the cycle of crime with a cycle of renewal that restores entire communities. Because the Bible calls us to remember and visit those in prison, we believe that every Christian is compelled to contribute to this restorative cycle.