The session of Westminster OPC in Monroe Washington had been praying for nearly five years that the Lord would use them to plant a church. Last year, they had little more than $1,700, no group and no church planter.
Rev. Dan McManigal, who was pastoring Grace URC in Portland, Ore. and his wife Jill had knocked on the doors of every school for deaf children from Vancouver, Washington to Salem, Oregon, but no viable options for the education of their hearing impaired son were apparent. In his providence, The Lord sent several deaf people to Grace URC. One of the couples had graduated from the North West School For Hearing Impaired Children (NWSFHIC) in Shoreline, WA. After touring the facilities and sitting in several classes, the McManigals were convinced that this was the best school for their son.
After much prayer and planning, Jill began a temporary job in Seattle in May of 2012 while Dan kept an eye out for ministry positions. Over the summer, Dan kept busy with pulpit supply work, but the family was able to visit several churches in the Seattle area and decided to have the family’s membership transferred to Westminster OPC. During the membership visit, the session asked Dan if he was interested in church planting.
Again, the McManigals sought the Lord in prayer. At the same time, others were praying for a church plant in Seattle. In November things began to move quickly. One week when Dan was filling an OP pulpit, several OP families who had heard of the possibility of a church plant attended and discussed the possibility with Dan. The families began getting together every Sunday evening as Dan continued to fill pulpits in Washington and Oregon. Friends of the McManigals moved from California to Seattle and joined the group later in the month. In December, an OP ruling elder accepted a job in Seattle, bringing another family to the group.
On January 6, Dan was preaching in Lynden, Wash. At Westminster OPC in Monroe, Rev. Inks was praying that God would provide funds for the church plant. After the worship service in Lynden, someone handed Dan an envelope with $1,000.00 and a note that the money was to be used for the church plant.
After searching by calling, e-mailing and driving, the group was able to hold Sunday evening Bible Studies in a Lutheran church, with a rent of only $40 per week, and the first Bible study was held on February 3. In addition to the core group and about a half dozen members of Westminster OPC, the Lord brought two new individuals out to the study. The next week there were six visitors. On February 17th, the members of WOPC core group and visitors numbered 32.
The Lutheran church worked well for the Bible studies, but a more permanent home was desired for worship services. After driving around Bellevue and Newcastle Dan pulled into the Mercer Island Community Center just off Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue. They were impressed with the brand new facility on a hill overlooking Lake Washington. Upon inquiring at the front desk they learned that there was a large room available for rent.
The group now meets weekly at 10:30 a.m. to worship our Lord. Weekly attendance has been encouraging with a number of new visitors coming from a variety of church backgrounds. On May 5th the church received 2 families into membership, witnessed 3 baptisms, celebrated the Lord’s Supper, and enjoyed a potluck after the service followed by a dip in Lake Washington, all under clear blue skies, which is something of a rarity in Seattle. The saints at Hope OPC have much to be thankful for.
Pray that God will continue to strengthen the bonds that tie this group together, and that He will bring more people to join them. Pray that He will continue to provide financially for Hope OPC and that the Lord would send an accompanist to play the piano.
For more information, go to their website: http://www.hopeopchurch.org