View the Angels of Hope Metropolitan Community Church web site at this link (will open in a separate browser window).
According to their website in August 2021:
Angel of Hope (AoH) (note original singular word 'Angel') began in November 1986, after some people in Green Bay heard about Metropolitan Community Churches and attended a Regional Conference in Ohio. Afterward, it was decided that a local congregation and New Hope MCC, Milwaukee (now Milwaukee MCC) would be sponsored by Good Shepherd Parish. Angels of Hope would be the second MCC church in the state of Wisconsin, after its sister Congregation New Hope MCC in Milwaukee (formerly Prince of Peace MCC, MCC Milwaukee and now Milwaukee MCC).
The first worship service of Angel of Hope MCC was held on November 30th, 1986 in a place not unusual to MCC’s of the time, a bar (Napalese Lounge) on Broadway Avenue. 28 people attended the first service.
In those days, the emerging AIDS epidemic was on everyone’s mind, and many members and friends had been diagnosed with HIV. In somewhat of an appropriate partnership, AoH moved its services to the conference room of Center Project, Inc. (which first became the Green Bay office of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, which itself is now part of Vivent Health). AoH hosted several annual Vigils of Remembrance to honor those who had died. These were held at the AoH location and also at other area churches.
Reverend David Callentine was AoH’s first pastor. New Hope M.C.C. in Milwaukee had also recently reorganized and been chartered by UFMCC, and Reverend Callentine would hold both Sunday worships, first at Angels of Hope in Green Bay at 11:00 am, and then drive the distance to New Hope in Milwaukee to conduct services there at 7:00 pm.
Unfortunately, on April 30, 1988, Reverend David Callentine died at Milwaukee's Columbia Hospital with complications due to HIV/AIDS at 38 years of age.
After Rev. Callentine's death, Rev. Hal Hasse stepped in temporarily before Thomas J. Schuh was appointed the Pastoral Leader pastor for several years, until the arrival of Rev. Ken Hull in 1995. By that time, the meeting rooms at CPI had been taken over by more office space. So, after a short time at the chapel of Union Congregational Church, AoH rented space at an area hotel for Sunday services. In 1996, AoH moved to a storefront location on Forest Street in Green Bay.
In 1997, AoH moved to another location at 3607 Libal Street in Allouez. During this time, they made the change of their name to Angels of Hope MCC (changing from the singluar 'Angel' to the plural 'Angels'), to acknowledge and honor those no longer with us, who had brought us to where we were.
Also in 1997, AoH began an evening service in Appleton. The first location was on Locust Street, then Richmond Street, then the chapel of the 1st Congregational UCC, 724 E. South River Street.
In 2002, Rev. Elaine Thomas joined Angels of Hope as the Senior Pastor to eventually succeed Rev. Hull as pastor in 2003. Rev. Thomas stepped down in 2007. Following the departure of Rev. Thomas, Rev. Dr. Gail Simonds become the Intentional Interim Pastor for 1 year.
In the past 35+ years, AoH has met in bars, businesses, barns, churches- both indoors & out. AoH has participated in weddings, funerals, vigils and Pride events. Members have met at sunrise and midnight, morning and evening.
Above history from Angels of Hope website. Copied and edited by Wis LGBT History Project webmaster August 2021.
According to their web site in July 2021:
"We are an open and affirming church for all who seek a closer relationship with God. Our Mission is to live out the Great Commandment. 'You shall love your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.' (NRSV, Luke 10.27). We gather every Sunday at 1:00 pm at 139 East 2nd Street in Kaukauna, WI 54130
"Angels of Hope Metropolitan Community Church is an open and affirming, Christian-based, organization. We bind together to share in the worship of God in the Christian tradition. We respect and honor diverse spiritualities; celebrate the communion of sexuality and spirituality; and inspirit authentic voices in community.
"At AoHMCC, all people shall have equality of access and opportunity which is free from discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, physical challenge, HIV status, health status, gender identification, nationality, or economic status. AoHMCC is an intentionally, lay-led, Christ-based, fellowship with Lay People serving as Christ served through his life and teachings."
As of 2021, AoH is meeting in Kaukauna, WI, so as to be convenient for both Green Bay and Appleton members.
See the separate page with Angels of Hope MCC Gallery of articles, ads, etc.
Credits: seb site concept, design and format by Don Schwamb.
Organizational history from Angels of Hope Metropolitan Community Church website, July 2021.
Last updated: August-2021.
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