Just as Michael and Tess Langer were starting a church plant in Iowa City, eastern Iowa experienced severe flooding. So, in the summer of 2008 One Ancient Hope began as a relief work to help flood victims by cleaning out and restoring damaged homes. PCA church teams from across the U. S. worked alongside a few local volunteers associated with the new church plant. With One Ancient Hope’s focus on “Seeking the Welfare of the City,” it was a providential beginning.
The church body began to form in August 2008 with a Sunday afternoon Bible study. As more people joined, it outgrew all available homes, and by November it moved north of Iowa City to Preucil School of Music’s Northgate location. Regular Sunday morning services began in August 2009. In November 2010 the church moved to the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, a more centrally-located building that is easily accessible by foot to university students and the homeless community. The story of One Ancient Hope, then, is about the Lord calling together committed, praying, gifted, hard-working brothers and sisters in Christ to plant a church that strives to meet the needs of its members and the Iowa City community.
As a church planter, Pastor Michael worked with a “session on loan” from the Iowa Presbytery, referred to as the Commission. It included two elders from outside One Ancient Hope— Larry Hoop, a teaching elder, and Tim Hall, a ruling elder. Two members of the church also served on the Commission and met frequently with Pastor Michael—Josh Vahle, RUF pastor to the University of Iowa, and Fred Skiff who came to the church as an ordained PCA elder. In August 2011 Ian Hard came on board as the Assistant Church Planter, along with his wife Rebecca. Then on April 7, 2013 One Ancient Hope particularized and formed its first session when members voted in Cary Covington, Fred Skiff, Josh Super, and Chris Sutton as ruling elders. That day the congregation elected Pastor Michael to the position of Lead Pastor, and Pastor Ian as Associate Pastor. Pastor Michael currently serves a congregation in Palo Heights, Illinois and Pastor Ian recently accepted a call to Christ Church PCA in Suncook, New Hampshire.
In June of 2016, the congregation welcomed Rev. Didi Wong as their new Lead Pastor. Click here to learn more about Pastor Didi.