Bringing hope to Hartselle: The ministry of Hope House at First Methodist Church 

Photos by Rachel Howard 

In a two-bedroom house on Hickory Street, a beacon of hope shines brightly amidst the challenges faced by many in the community. A significant part of the ministries of First Methodist Church of Hartselle, Hope House stands as a testament to compassion and service, offering a helping hand to those in need. With a mission rooted in providing essential resources and support, Hope House serves as a lifeline for individuals and families facing difficult circumstances. 

At the core of Hope House’s mission is a commitment to addressing the most fundamental needs of its visitors. From clothing to linens and household items, the ministry extends a warm embrace to all who seek assistance. Regardless of background or circumstance, everyone is welcomed with open arms and treated with dignity and respect. 

Operating every Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Hope House is a hub of activity, buzzing with the energy of volunteers dedicated to making a difference. Behind the scenes, a team of nine compassionate individuals works tirelessly to sort donations, organize inventory and ensure each visitor receives the help they need. Their dedication and selflessness are the driving force behind the ministry’s impact on the community. They are led by Joy Groover, chairwoman of the Good Samaritans ministry. Groover has been with Good Sam for 43 years.  

“I like to help people,” Groover said. “I enjoy making a difference. My husband says ‘Joy, if you had one dollar, you’d give it away and that’s probably true. I just love these people.”  

Volunteer Carolyn Halford said an average of 30 families are served every week by the food pantry.  

“A lot of the times when we need food and we don’t have the money to buy it, there’s a drive or sometimes the youth or Sunday school classes will have one,” Halford added. “It just comes.” 

Hope House also provides help with rent, utility bills, Christmas gifts for underserved children, clothes and shoes and more.  

But Hope House is more than just a place to find material support; it is a sanctuary of hope and encouragement. For many, stepping through its doors is a transformative experience, offering not only tangible assistance but also a sense of belonging and solidarity. In times of uncertainty, knowing that there is a compassionate community standing ready to offer support can make all the difference. 

The impact of Hope House extends far beyond the walls of the First Methodist Church, reaching into the lives of those it serves and the broader community.  

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