In late November of 2006, Mark Kring attended an evening lecture at the request of a friend (Randy Riemer), which was held in the facilities of Grace Fellowship in Haslett. During the evening Mark and Randy were made aware that the church (Grace Fellowship) had recently voted to cease operations and close their doors due to declining membership. In the midst of the conversation, Mark was informed that the facilities could be made available to launch a new church.
Mark, along with his wife Loralee, and approximately 20 close friends agreed to pray for a few weeks over the opportunity to start a new church in the existing Grace Fellowship building. The group finally concluded that God was clearly opening a door of opportunity to launch a new church. In-depth dialogues with the 17 remaining Grace members began in January 2007. The process culminated in an historic vote by those members to turn over the facility to Mark and his leadership team for the purpose of the formation of a new church. Shortly thereafter, the new church was named New Hope: a biblical community.
The transition from Grace Fellowship to New Hope was extraordinarily smooth, due in large part to the grace and humility of the former Grace Fellowship members, almost all of whom became part of New Hope. The new church began Sunday services with about 40 people. In the early stages a “transitional leadership team” of 5 couples was formed to make monthly decisions about the direction of the new church start-up. The men also met each month to draft the New Hope constitution and bylaws and make decisions regarding the structure and organization. New Hope is structured as an elder-led church based on the New Testament model. New Hope currently has five elders: Mark Kring, Gary Post, Randy Riemer, Peter Yoo and Michael Bristor.