Living Hope, 1963

A Brief History

The Church of the Living Hope began in living rooms in East Harlem in January, 1961. It was incorporated in 1964 when it purchased and moved into an abandoned building at 161 East 104th Street where it has worshipped and served for more than fifty years. The church building was fully renovated in 1967. While Living Hope has always been a grass-roots family church, rooted in East Harlem and reflective of its needs, from this tenement on 104th Street the Church has been a beacon and touchstone to the worldwide community, with a spirit that has nourished souls in five continents.

Living Hope’s Programs over the Years

CLH Renovated

Throughout its history the Church has provided leadership development and training for young and old, designed and adapted programs to meet felt and emerging needs, and nourished and nurtured the souls of saints and sinners. Programs it has been home to or fostered include:

  • Hope Community Incorporated (since 1968)
  • Living Hope Day Camp (40 years!)
  • Living Hope Modern/Jazz Workshop (Mary Jenkins and Zinda Williams)
  • Living Hope Family Day Care Network
  • Living Hope Scholarship Fund and Walkathon
  • Church of the Living Hope in Nigeria
  • Headstart Center (one of the first in the country)
  • The New Amsterdam Boys Choir (James Backman)
  • The Living Hope Players
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Exodus House
  • Countless sports teams, dinners, dinner-dances, block parties and community events



Living Hope has been pastored by:

  • Rev. George E. Calvert (1961-1994, Emeritus 1994-1998)
  • Rev. Bruce McKay (1979-1989)
  • Associate Pastor, Rev. James Brewer-Calvert (1985-88)
  • Rev. Michael Ward Caine (1990-1996)
  • Rev. Lonnie Macleod (1996-2009)
  • Rev. Chris Lawrence (2014-2019)
  • Rev. Ruben Nuño (2019-present)


Early 70's
Early 70’s



History 80's
History 80’s


Late 80's
Late 80’s