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Spirit of Hope Celebrates 150 Years

The church is Golden Valley's oldest church and was originally founded in what's now the location of the Golden Valley Historical Society.

It's hard to imagine what Golden Valley was like 150 years ago.

In 1862, America was in the midst of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln was president. That same year, Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church was founded. The congregation found a home in a tiny white church on Golden Valley Road.  Today, the church is a historical landmark and home to the Golden Valley Historical Society. But back then, it was the start of Golden Valley's longest standing congregation.

Don Anderson, Secretary of the Golden Valley Historical Society, said that in the 1960s, Christian Science Society bought the church from Spirit of Hope. That's when Spirit of Hope moved to their current location on Highway 55 and Harold Avenue.

In 1997, the Golden Valley Historical Society purchased the property thanks to a $86,000 donation from long-time resident Shirley Schultz. The society has been there ever since, and is working to create a museum full of Golden Valley artifacts.

While the little white church has become a major wedding destination, Spirit of Hope has also found its footing in the community.

On Nov. 4 and Nov. 11, the church attendees will celebrate Spirit of Hope's history by creating messages for future worshipers with instructions to open the messages in 20 years. Church artifacts will also be on display.

According to a press release from Spirit of Hope, Mayor Shep Harris will greet the congregation on Nov. 11, acknowledging the shared path of the city and the church. A homemade pie auction will follow the service.

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