The New Hope Baptist Church was organized on Sunday, September 28, 1947, under the leadership of the late Rev. J. S. Wicks. The church sanctuary, with a 200 person seating capacity, was then located at 1385 North 46th Street. With an initial membership of approximately 50, the dedicated group ventured in faith to make an impact on the Eden Park community and the larger community as a whole. At present, New Hope does not have any living Organizers who were adults on that 4th Sunday in September 1947; however, one living Early Laborer, Bro. Cleveland Ashton, has since moved his membership to another Baptist church in the Baton Rouge area. The term “Organizer” shall be defined as any adult who was present on September 28, 1947. It is clearly understood that these Organizers had children and families, many of whom remain active disciples of the New Hope Baptist Church. Moreover, it is further understood that there were many “Early Laborers” who shall be defined as those adults who immediately joined the New Hope Family during its earliest years of development, many of whom have been called home or who remain active disciples of the New Hope Baptist Church. Organizers and Early Laborers, who have gone on to glory, but who will never be forgotten, include the following: Bro. Exter Burrell, Sis. Nazarine Burrell, Sis. Mildred Chambers, Sis. Mellene Dawson, Sis. Christine Jackson-Fisher, Sis. Jessie Ford, Sis. Georgia Foster, Bro. Samuel Gray, Sis. Irene Hills, Bro. Nelson Hills, Sis. Susie Hughes, Bro. Henry Leonard, Sis. Mamie Leonard, Sis. Louvilla Lewis, Bro. Moses Richard, Sis. Virginia Richard, Bro. Lolo Rogers, Sis. Luella Rogers, Sis. Mary Shoals, Bro. T.C. Wicks, Sis. Theresa Wicks, and of course the first pastor, Rev. J. S. Wicks.
Together, they organized the first civic club, and they were instrumental in obtaining governmental services that were beneficial to the Eden Park community. The accomplishments include having governmental services installed and having neighborhood schools constructed. Under the pastorship of Rev. Wicks, the New Hope Family set out to identify the needs of the community in order to provide much needed services. This concern touched others, brought forth new members, and the New Hope Family grew numerically and spiritually. Vacation Bible School was started during the summer period. Families united in Christian love to spread God’s message in the home and in the neighborhood. Church Sunday School was formed, choirs were organized, and the sanctuary doors were opened to systematic gospel music extravaganzas. Culinary endeavors were plentiful, and along with trips to beaches, funds were garnered to benefit the family and the community. These endeavors provided much needed services to the community, such as secular school supplies and Christian education resources.
Pastor Wicks served as the undershepherd until 1976, when in the spirit of love, the second of only two pastors, Dr. Leo Daniel Cyrus, Sr., was installed on the fourth Sunday, August 22, 1976. This pastor-teacher’s first sermon was entitled, “Give Me This Mountain.” During Pastor Cyrus’ first revival, twenty-two (22) souls accepted the Call To Christian Discipleship, thus the membership continued to grow. The first Cherubim Choir was formed, Bible study began, the Usher Ministry flourished, and the Deaconess Ministry was organized. All ministries increased in knowledge and in service. As a consequence of Spirit-led sermons and Spirit-filled worship experiences, the walls of the North 46th Street sanctuary could no longer accommodate the increasing numbers. Pastor Cyrus, along with a group of dedicated members, set out to find a new site to house the growth. The Relocation Committee included the following: Sis. Cleotha Alexis, Bro. George Brumfield, Bro. Eugene Davis, Sis. Christine Jackson-Fisher, Bro. Nelson Hills, Bro. LeRoy Hollins, Bro. Robert Knighten, Sis. Debra Martin, Sis. Mae McGuffrey, Bro. Ernest Piper, Bro. Moses Richard, Bro. Lolo Rogers, Sis. Luella Rogers, and Bro. Perkins Stewart. Several sites were explored, and the majority selected the current site at 5856 Greenwell Springs Road.
With Pastor Cyrus serving as General Contractor, the New Hope Family began a concentrated effort to construct the current edifice in 1985. Through untiring labor and continuous prayers, the new sanctuary was completed. Relocation and dedication services were held the week of November 27-December 3, 1988. Today, the membership continues to grow with an average of 10 new members added monthly. The New Hope Family remains committed to the concerns of the community and it is determined to assist where needed as evidenced by its mission statement that centers on worship, fellowship, ministry, evangelism, and discipleship.
New Hope maintains its regularly scheduled 10:45 A.M. Sunday morning worship experience, and continues the commitment to discipleship through Christian education opportunities, such as the 6:00 P.M. Wednesday evening Half-Hour of Power prayer service and the 6:30 P.M. Wednesday evening Word Explosion Bible Class. Since the sanctuary and the educational center are a blessing to the members, their usage is also encouraged to serve as a blessing to the community through seminars, meetings, musical extravaganzas, weddings, funerals, graduations, and counseling sessions. In particular, the Educational Center serves as the New Hope Faith Based Outpatient Drug Clinic. For over ten years, this Substance Abuse Ministry was led by the late Sis. Rose Chinwoh. Presently, New Hope ministries include, but are not limited to, those listed on the back of the weekly church bulletin.
New Hope’s community involvement includes membership in the Community Association for the Welfare of School Children and East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Partnership in Education through the adoption of Capital Middle School. New Hope is a consistent contributor to and supporter of Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College.
In terms of denominational and interdenominational associations, New Hope is a member of the Greater Louisiana Baptist Convention, Inc., the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., and the Federation of Churches and Synagogues. Pastor Cyrus, who once served on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, serves on various religious and community boards, committees, and task forces; however, it is his Christian service that must be highlighted. This Immediate Past President-Moderator of the Fourth District Missionary Baptist Association, also currently holds servant-leader positions with the National Baptist Sunday School Publishing Board and the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, an affiliate of the NBC, U.S.A., Inc.
The Lord has enabled this local body of Believers to achieve several financial stewardship milestones, such as the payoff of its sanctuary, educational center, and parking lots. Most recently, The Hope Center, located next to the Educational Center, was purchased, renovated, and dedicated for Godly purposes. All of the rooms are named after key New Hope founding and/or early families such as the Hills Family Room, the Jackson-Fisher Family Room, the Rogers Family Room, and the Richard Family Room. In addition, the nursery facility has been named after our the late "Mother of the Church" and mother of Pastor-Teacher Cyrus, Sis. Alice Cyrus. Future building plans include the acquisition of additional properties, located adjacent to the educational center to further the work of the church to assist troubled youth, the homeless, the battered, the physically and mentally challenged, the elderly, and other categories of need in the African-American community. In 2006, the church was able to secure the building immediately next to the Educational Center, and through the pastoral leadership and vision, additional off site property has been leased to house the outburst of growth and need of the Substance Abuse Ministry.
In addition to the Pastor-Teacher, Dr. Leo D. Cyrus, Sr., the licensed and/or ordained ministerial roster includes: Rev. Derrick Kyle, Associate Minister, and also Assistant Ministers, Rev. Lionel Anderson, Rev. Michael Cannon, and Rev. Anthony Stove. The church staff includes an Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, a secretary, volunteer announcement clerks, a church sexton, transportation drivers, media technicians, and orchestra members inclusive of a minister of music, a secondary musician, choral director, two drummers, a bass guitar player, and a volunteer trombonist.
The New Hope Baptist Church solicits prayers as we reach the mission left by Christ. Our mission statement of who we are states, “New Hope Baptist Church is a family of baptized believers who worship the Lord our God in spirit and in truth, teach the saved to reach the lost while ministering to the needs of others, and encouraging one another through acts of love and living in obedience to God’s Word.” Our vision statement for where we want to be states, "New Hope Baptist Church under the guidance of a Spirit-led leader, envisions a spiritually mature, family oriented, multi-generational church whose foundation is Jesus, equipped and empowered to share the Gospel through the Word of God and through acts of service, utilizing facilities that will impact today's society." As the New Hope Family grows in grace and in application of God’s Word, the membership will continue to strive to maintain a goal of service to God, and service to a community that for over sixty years after the organization on North 46th Street, still needs NEW HOPE.
Born March 25, 1943 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to the Reverend Johnny Cyrus, Sr. and Mrs. Alice Cyrus. Married December 24, 1963 to the former Deloris Morris. Father of four children: Leo Jr., Michael, Kelvin Cyrus, and Tamela Washington Martin, one son in law Carl Martin and one daughter in law Nichelle Cyrus. Two granddaughters Jasmine Cyrus and Carmel Martin, and four grandsons Christopher Michael, Michael, Mahki Cyrus and Blake Martin.
Rev. Leo Daniel Cyrus, Sr., was installed on the fourth Sunday, August
22, 1976. This pastor-teacher's first sermon was entitled, "Give Me
This Mountain." During Pastor Cyrus' first revival, twenty-two (22)
souls accepted the Call To Christian Discipleship, thus the membership
continued to grow to what it is today.
Pastor's Bio If you are interested in becoming a part of one of the Ministries listed below contact the Church office for details.
Caring Christians Ministry
Health and Wellness Ministry Missionary Ministry Prison Ministry Street Witnessing Ministry
Adults Dance Ministries Greeters Ministry Married Couples Ministry Men's Ministry Music Ministry Praise Team Ministry Singles' Ministry Sisterhood Ministry Usher Ministry #1
Usher Ministry #2 Voices of Praise
Boy Scouts Cherubim Choir
Children's Church Girl Scouts
Perfect Praise Dance Ministry
Puppet Ministry Youth Usher Ministry #3