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Why We Have Hope

Hear Our Stories

It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, we need hope. It doesn’t matter if we are young or old, we need hope. It doesn’t matter our ethnicity, we need hope.

At Uptown Church we want to share our stories with you to encourage you on your journey of faith. Our lives are a testimony that God is at work today, redeeming and restoring what is broken.

Stories of Hope Videos

More Stories

 

Meghan’s Story

I was raised going to church; but in my teen years, Jesus meant less and less to me. My mother constantly annoyed me with questions of how my “walk with Jesus” was going. At 15 years old I had a moment of clarity. While sitting alone in my room, I realized that my life without Jesus was dead and hopeless. I suddenly understood that the joy and purpose I had seen in people I admired came from knowing Jesus. I learned what Peter knew in John 6:68 when he said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. I immediately prayed and gave my life to Jesus. I have been enjoying a full, life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ ever since.

Phillip’s Story

When I was very young my brother had to be hospitalized because my dad had hurt him physically. Soon after I was taken away from my parents and put into foster care. I felt very scared and alone. I stayed with some good people but I wasn't able to live with them permanently. When I was 11 I was living in a group home and a kind woman told me about Jesus and took me to church. I felt the love of God immediately and wanted to know more about Jesus. I wanted to do more for God and the very next year I was baptized. I continue to love and serve God to this day. I have been able to reconnect with my Mom and have a good relationship with her.

 
 

Tammy’s Story

I was born into an unhappy marriage and had a hard childhood with a hopeless adolescence. Even though I went to Sunday school and church all of my young life, I didn’t think Jesus was real. When my first Child was born, I felt overwhelmed so I turned to God in prayer. Suddenly, I realized how much God had been with me and protected me my whole life. I saw how much God loved me and how to find hope in Him. Today, my problems don’t seem as big as they used to. Though sometimes life is hard and challenging, God has blessed me with joy and hope. God is closer than you think. Look to him in prayer and you can know his hope too!

Rebekah’s Story

Being raised in a Christian home and being “good” was a source of pride for me. It became an excuse to be lazy with my faith and I found myself seeking others approval instead of God’s. I knew the Bible, I knew all the right “Christian” responses and actions, but I was just going through the motions. After a painful break-up, I found myself utterly alone on a dorm-room floor in a foreign country, sobbing, begging God to show up, prove to me that I was not a failure and that I wasn’t alone. And there He was. I felt God’s presence so clearly and physically! It felt like God was holding me in his arms, and comforting me. No matter my wanderings or my human failures, I know God will always welcome me back into His loving arms, to show me I’m not alone.

 
 

Jeremy’s Story

As a teenager, I felt hopeless. I felt imprisoned by darkness! I was suicidal and felt that death was the only way out. In an act of desperation, and as my last resort, I cried out to Jesus. From that point on, hope slowly started creeping into my life. This hope has taken me on an incredible journey. I am discovering more and more about God’s love and compassion for the people the world and it’s leaders oppress, enslave and stomp on. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus flipped the world upside down. He elevated the poor, prisoners, and the weak, by saying, “you are blessed and the kingdom of heaven is yours.” As I look at all the inequality and injustice that surrounds me, knowing that Jesus makes everything right fills me with a mysterious hope that’s hard to describe.

Sara’s Story

One of my most treasured experiences is accompanying my mother through Alzheimer’s. She had always been remote, unwilling to share the smallest scrap about her family, her life, and her feelings. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s she forgot she was private. What stories she told! She spoke of how she and her sisters sang together growing up in poverty during the Great Depression. She told me how God brought her through aggressive breast cancer when the five of us were little. In late Alzheimer’s, she could no longer talk, but she could smile. We would hold hands and she would sing continually of her love for Jesus. My mother remained who she most truly was – cheerful, welcoming, and loving. Even after she lost her speech and memories, she was sustained by her God.

 
 

Tiana’s Story

I was seven years old when my parents divorced. I was so angry and wounded by their actions that I decided that I would never let anyone hurt me like that again. I was strong. I was self-reliant. I was bitter. Even though I grew up going to church, I continued to carry that bitterness with me. When I was fourteen, I attended a Bible camp. The first campfire message was on forgiveness. I was very uncomfortable with the thought of forgiving my parents and letting go of my pain. I realized that I couldn't keep being angry with them and the rest of the world. Hope and freedom came when I surrendered to Christ and He became a healer, friend, and ever-present parent.

Terry’s Story

Ten years ago, a bad church experience left me feeling betrayed and let down – so I quit. If church meant rejection and disappointment, then I didn’t want to go any more. Others were hurt too and I just couldn’t accept it. I felt justified in my decision because I could still read my Bible, pray, and talk with Christian friends. The church didn’t need me and I didn’t need the church. Over time, I realized that churches are made up of imperfect people, like myself, who make mistakes. But God doesn’t make mistakes. God brings flawed people together to help one another. Even though we don’t always get it right, God uses the Church to bring love, encouragement, and healing. I need the church and the church needs me.

 
 

Andrea’s Story

Does life have more meaning than just living the American dream? Is life just about getting a job, allowing you to pay the rent, so you can have a place to sleep, so you can get up the next day, to go to work, to make more money, to pay the rent…or is life just a cosmic joke? I felt haunted by these questions yet did nothing but try to ignore them. I used alcohol and unhealthy relationships to try and numb the meaninglessness I felt. Hope came when those questions were answered, but more importantly, hope came when I knew that Jesus wanted to love and care for me. If I didn’t have hope I would be somewhere comfortable living a meaningless life. Jesus’s love was the only answer that made sense in a dark place. Hope is my direction.

Stewart’s Story

Even though I’m joyful and friendly life hasn’t always been easy for me. My family went through struggles and I have had health issues. When my mom had problems we wound up homeless. I met some Christian friends who showed me more about living for God. I was happy following God and doing what was right. I trusted Him and prayed when life was difficult. It was hard but God was always there. My mom is doing much better now. We have a good relationship and our family has a lot of hope. I like to say hi to people on the street, I volunteer at CCO homeless shelter, and I like to help people whenever I can. Sharing hope and joy makes me happy and gives me hope. If you need hope and joy in your life just ask God and pray, He will hear you.

 
 

Elizabeth’s Story

I felt far from God and was questioning my belief in Him. I wondered if He really existed. But God renewed my faith while I was studying abroad in China. I’d been praying for a friend for a long time to become a Christian and I thought it was never going to happen. But it did happen! God answering my prayer reminded me that He is real and does miracles. It gave me hope.I have been encouraged by the fact that in the midst of the suffering and brokenness in the world, Christ is making all things new.

Fred’s Story

I was stuck in a cycle of stealing and doing drugs. I'd been in prison multiple times and I was on a path of self destruction. Hope came in the form of a random stranger who visited me in jail and shared the love of Christ with me. After being released again I was falling into old habits. I realized I couldn't save myself and in desperation I turned to God and started going to church. Only he had the power to save and deliver me.

 
 

Rebecca’s Story

I grew up in a wealthy suburb and went to the best schools, but felt like an outcast. My parents fought constantly and I never fit in anywhere. By the time I was fifteen I was doing drugs, running away, and suicidal. A girl at school invited me to a Bible study at church. Overwhelmed by all the new faces, I went upstairs to the dark sanctuary where the choir was practicing. I got down on my knees and told God if He wanted me, He could have me. Something beautiful happened that night thirty-five years ago. God changed my heart and my life has never been the same. Hope and love are there for the asking.

Tom’s Story

I grew up in a good Christian environment, but never wanted to make the commitment because I wanted to live for myself. By the time I was in college I was pouring myself into pursuing a life of fame and fortune but I found this pursuit to be hollow. I recognized I was making a mess of my life, so I asked Jesus to take over. When I returned to Jesus I went from being self-centered to community-centered, I chose a life focused on service to others. I like who I have become.

 
 

Tammy’s Story

I have struggled with depression since I was a child. When I was 17 I was hospitalized for self-harm and I had given up any hope of peace or happiness. A friend had given me her Bible the day before and it reminded me of my deep need for rescue and for God. The Bible promised God would walk beside me in the darkness and be my light when I had none. He brings Jeremiah 29:11 alive to me every day: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

No matter the current chapter, the end of your story is not yet written. The stories on this page show God is able to bring new life into any situation. Whatever your story, join us as we allow God to write the next chapter in our lives.

Service Times

We meet every Sunday at 10 a.m. for weekly worship.