Who We Are

About Hope Church
Staff & EldersValues & Beliefs

Our Mission & Vision

A Place to Find Hope

Pursuing a growing relationship with Jesus that brings hope and love to our community and the world.



Don Hay

Don Hay

Senior Pastor

Don was born and raised in Stratford, CT until moving to Illinois to go to Wheaton College. There, he met his wife Carlye and began serving together in student development at Wheaton. The two eventually moved back to Connecticut where Don served at a church in Eastford and then in Fairfield. During this time, their family expanded to 4 children: Jacob, Abby, Maya, and Olivia. In 2010, they moved to NJ where Don served in Medford, NJ and Carlye was a special education teacher. They returned to CT in 2018 to join the Hope Church family and continue the journey of pursuing God together.

(203) 762-0706, Ext. 12




Paul Karus

Paul Karus

Youth Pastor

(203) 762-0706 Ext. 13

Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson

Worship Coordinator

(203) 762-0706

Kimberly Karus

Kimberly Karus

Children's Ministry Director

(203) 762-0706 Ext. 16

Nicole Marron

Nicole Marron

Office Administrator

(203) 762-0706 Ext. 11

Elder Team

Chris Sanzaro


Dan Vinton (Chair)


Walt Golembeski


Alan Renne


Bob McDowell


Clay Larsen


“At Hope Church, we want you to experience God’s love — to know that he has created you for a purpose, to know that your life is not an accident, to know that you can actually have a personal relationship with God through his Son, Jesus.”   – Pastor Don Hay

Our Values

Three things we highly value

GROW in your relationship with God

Growing in your relationship with God is the most important pursuit you can have in life. We believe that happens best when you are allowing Him to speak to you through the Bible, prayer, and letting Him change your heart and mind to look more like Him. Growing isn’t just about head knowledge but it involves our whole life. The good news is that in Christ we are made new and we want you to experience this yourself.

CONNECT with others

We believe that the best way to grow is when we are connected to others. God changes us in community. He mobilizes us in community. He loves us and cares for us in community. Hope Church is more than a place to go on a Sunday morning. It’s a place to connect with others so that you can connect more deeply with God. That’s why we want to help you find Christ-centered community and connect in your pursuit of Him together.

GO out with the HOPE of Christ

As a church, we believe that God created us for action.  Our lives are not our own and our purpose comes from Him.  We believe that the work He is doing in us doesn’t end with us and so we seek to bring hope to those who need it.  Being a place to find Hope means doing all we can to bring this to our homes, to our region, and to the world.  We believe that you will feel the most alive when Christ’s love is being poured out through you and that happens when we go.

What We Believe

The Scriptures

We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men,and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1: 21


We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I John 5:7; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14


We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into Heaven where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate. John 1:1; Hebrews 9:24-28; I Corinthians 15:3

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict man, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, and empower the believer for godly living and service.John 14:16, 17, 26; John 15:26; John 16:8


We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and therefore is lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salva tion and spiritual life be obtained.Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12; John 1:12-13

Justification and Salvation

We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God.John 1:12; John 3:3,16

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 11:23-25

The Church

We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.I Corinthians 12:12-14


We believe that only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.Acts 2:47


We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.Colossians 1:18

Christ’s Return

We believe in the personal and premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this Blessed Hope has a vital bearing of the personal life and service of the Believer.1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead: of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.I Corinthians 15:51-54

Our Denomination


Hope Church is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), a collection of over 1300 churches across America. Evangelical refers to our commitment to the Bible as God’s authoritative word and Free describes our church government as congregational and free from denominational control. Our common statement of faith re-elects all the main points of historic biblical Christianity. You can find out more at our denomination website: www.efca.org

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