Hope Presbyterian church, a new Crozet church led by pastor Todd Johnson, is now meeting every Sunday at 10 a.m. in Crozet Elementary School’s cafeteria/auditorium.
“We hope to be a smaller church in Crozet with big church ministries,” Johnson said. The new church is being launched as a partnership of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville and Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro. “The partnership helps with resources and leadership,” said Johnson, who now lives in Crozet. “Some members of those churches will form our congregation. Our congregation has roots here.”
The church has recently wrapped up six months of “preview worships,” said Johnson, with attendance averaging around 70 to 80 people per week, including 40 adults.
“Trinity has become so large it could not serve its outlying members well,” he said. “It saw a need to start new churches to love the community well.” Trinity has also started churches in Harrisonburg and north of Charlottesville, he said.
“Crozet is a growth area and we want to serve Crozet well. We support all the churches that are getting started here and we want to see them all flourish. More people taking care of their neighbors is a good thing. We don’t want to take anybody out of their church.”
Hope Presbyterian has “children’s church,” where children leave during the sermon to do other activities, rather than a Sunday school class.
Johnson was in campus ministry for 20 years, for the last eight at U.Va. He was also at Virginia Tech and Westchester University in Pennsylvania. He and his wife have three daughters, the oldest now in college. Johnson has been attending meetings of the Western Albemarle Ministers Association, an effort by Crozet–area Protestant churches to combine forces where possible.
Hope Presbyterian is instituting weeknight small group meetings, one day a week, that members can join. “The idea is to pray and love each other and find practical ways to support each other. We want everybody to flourish,” Johnson said.
“Society is getting so thin. How can we help? There are needs here in our own backyard. The Biblical story is that God wants all people to flourish. The Biblical story creates the grid.
“I think God is in charge of everything. We are trying to push against the consumer culture. We want to bring Shalom to our area.”