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Pastor Eddie and Norma DeJesus

On June 21, Pastor Eddie DeJesus is stepping down as lead pastor of New Hope Community Church. He and his wife of 33 years, Norma, made the announcement this week.

“After 17 years that Norma and I have been here dreaming, believing the impossible and birthing something from nothing to something that from the early days seemed impossible and a miracle that it even survived its infancy called New Hope Community Church,” DeJesus said in an email to the Sun. “It has been the greatest joy and privilege of Norma and I life that God has allowed us on this journey.

In the past several years, New Hope has ministered to the community through its Bible School of Equipping, and church-planting Internship Experience. It commissioned its East Campus as a self-supporting, self-governing congregation called Go Church in Port Charlotte. It launched three new campus congregations in Venice, Arcadia and a Spanish-speaking contingent in North Port, and its recovery ministry.

It also launched its HOPE for North Port Community Development Corporation in 2014, which provides services, volunteers, and financial resources to organizations serving the poor and marginalized in the city of North Port.

DeJesus will serve with the Christian and Missionary Alliance as the Church Multiplication Director in the new South Central District in Arlington, Texas, where he hopes to be “a catalyst for a movement of planting churches across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.”

The Rev. Dr. John Edgar Caterson will be the transitional pastor as New Hope’s Elder Team and District Superintendent search for a new permanent pastor.

“The awesome people and friends we have made, that are now family to us,” DeJesus wrote in the email. “The challenges, trials, victories, painful losses, disappointments, hurt, tears, pain and overwhelming joy of it ALL. We would not of missed a single moment of it. A piece of our heart will forever be with our beloved church family, and city of North Port.”

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