This work began under the vision and leadership of Reverend Edgar J. Kelley in the 1950’s in an “upper room” over Thomas’s Grocery on the corner of East and Pleasant streets in Lebanon, Ohio with the purpose of lifting up Jesus Christ as Saviour. Reverend Kelley having come into the Pentecostal experience of the “Baptism with the Holy Ghost” also placed great emphasis on being filled with the Spirit.
As the ministry grew, a new facility was found on State Route 350 just east of Lebanon near Fort Ancient State Park in what had been an old school building. The congregation later would build their first church building at 4263 St. Rt. 350 and be chartered “Free Holiness Church of God” on June 6, 1956. Although given this chartered name it would be more commonly referred to as “The 350 Church”.
On January 11, 1975 Rev. Bill W. Lamb would begin his pastorate that still continues today. With a vision for future growth, the Church would purchase acreage at 1235 Settlemire Road about 3 miles from the “350” location in the 1980’s. God’s blessing was given us and the property was soon paid for. Anticipating the move from the “350” location, a change of name seemed appropriate. The scripture that would repeatedly come to Pastor’s ear was Hebrews 6:19,20.
Which hope we have as an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.
It was from these scriptures the name “Anchor of Hope Ministries” was applied for and granted in the mid 90’s. The church would soon begin making plans for a larger facility and in August of 1998 we occupied our new building. Again God’s favor was shown us through people who had a heart to give and the property was soon debt free allowing us to put more finances toward staffing and missionary work.
Included in our Incorporation Papers is our mission statement: “It shall be the purpose of this corporation to present out Lord Jesus Christ to our world beginning in our immediate locality. This shall be accomplished by the help if the Holy Spirit, through the preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures and by multi-level ministries to children, adolescents and adults designed to disciple them in the Christian faith.” Our vision is simply to continue this great commission with all means available to us for evangelistic and missionary efforts both at home and abroad until Jesus returns.