Caption: Celebrate Recovery is the name of the program offered at Hope Missionary Church to help people with addictions.
“We want to help people who have hurts, habits, and hang ups come into a relationship with God in faith,” said Gary Aupperle, senior minister at Hope Missionary Church.
Celebrate Recovery is the name of a support group offered by Hope Missionary Church for people with addictions or bad habits who want to rid themselves of those lifestyles. The group, which currently numbers 20, meets at the church on Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. “We use study materials developed by Pastor Rick Warren who wrote the book The Purpose Filled Life,” said Aupperle. There is no cost to attend the program.
Celebrate Recovery is one means of leading people to Christ that Hope Missionary Church has put into effect under Aupperle’s leadership. After graduating from high school in Detroit, Aupperle enrolled at Fort Wayne Bible College (it later became Taylor University-Ft Wayne). As a student, he often visited Hope Missionary Church in Bluffton to assist with ministerial needs.
Caption: Pastor Gary Aupperle stands in the church gym that serves many families in the community.
After earning a degree in Biblical Studies in 1979, Aupperle earned a Master’s degree in Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He served as youth pastor for five years at Avalon Missionary Church in Fort Wayne, then 13 years as the church’s senior pastor. He ministered four years at Port Huron Missionary Church in Michigan before accepting an invitation to serve at Hope Missionary Church in 2002. Aupperle and his wife, Kay, have three grown children and four grandchildren “with another on the way”, Aupperle added.
One of the first things he saw a need for a decade ago at Hope was a Family Life Center. “We needed a facility to impact young families,” he said.
During the next decade, the church doubled its size by adding 40,000 square feet for a gym, children’s and youth wings. It also added Sunday morning worship services and staff. In addition to a traditional worship service at 10:30 there is an alternative service called 10:31 which meets at that same time. “It is an informal service with contemporary music,” he said. Currently, the congregation supports five full-time pastors and a part-time pastor for a north campus near Ossian which began holding services on Easter 2012. Combined worship attendances equal 1,000.
Rather than Aupperle preaching at each service a DVD recording of the first service is copied and carried to the 10:31 service and the one outside of Ossian where the average weekly attendance is 120 people.
For more information on the programs and services offered at Hope Missionary Church go to the church’s website or call the church office during business hours:
Hope Missionary Church
429 E Dustman Road