It all started at a church leadership conference that Ryan Lokkesmoe and Jenny Jones attended in 2014. One of the speakers posed this question:
What breaks your heart?
The speaker was making the point that our lives and ministries should reflect our answer to that question, because God breaks our hearts with aspects of his plan that we are uniquely wired to address.
For Jenny, the answer was people who are vulnerable due to poverty and other social challenges beyond their control. The Jones family felt called to be a part of a church that loves those people in tangible ways like Jesus did.
For Ryan, the answer was people who have intellectual doubts about God, or who feel that the Church is no longer relevant – that it’s a fossil of something that used to have meaning. The Lokkesmoe family felt called to be a part of a church that takes seriously the big questions of this generation, and lovingly points people to the truth of Scripture and the hope of Jesus Christ.
A year and a half later that question - What breaks your heart? - was still heavy on their hearts and echoing in their minds. As their two families spoke and prayed about how God might want them to act on these issues, he began to open their eyes to the many physical and spiritual needs of Fort Bend County.
God gave them a vision for a church that would be a safe place for people to wrestle with the deep issues of faith. He showed them how a church could uniquely address the real physical needs of this area. God gave them a glimpse of how a church could radiate the real, living hope of Christ into the community.
By the summer of 2015, after seeking God’s direction through prayer, counsel, and searching the Scriptures, it was clear they were being called to plant a church.
On August 7th, 2015 the Lokkesmoe and Jones families answered God’s call and decided to start a new church that would be a beacon of hope in Fort Bend County - Real Hope Community Church.
Shortly before Real Hope officially launched in September of 2016, Caleb Petticrew signed on as Real Hope's worship pastor. He served in that role until early 2023, when the the baton of leadership was passed to him and he became Real Hope's Lead Pastor. (Ryan is now pastoring a congregation in the Charlotte area, and Jenny is the Senior Director of Programs at one of Real Hope's ministry partners, Attack Poverty).