The Mantles of Bishop Harry Jackson and Dr. Vivian M. Jackson have been passed. Their legacy lives on through their daughter, Pastor Michele Jackson, Lead Pastor of Hope Christian Church.
Affectionally known as Apostle Michele, Joni Michele Jackson, was ordained as Pastor at Hope Christian Church in January of 2019; following pastoral training for the purpose of succeeding Bishop Jackson in the local church. Following the passing of her father, Bishop Harry Jackson, Pastor Jackson was confirmed by the Board of Trustees as Senior Pastor of Hope Christian Church on November 11, 2020. Pastor Michele is a worshipper, a prayer warrior and a student of the Scripture. Her passion is to see people become whole, free and equipped to fulfill their destiny in God. Following the period of mourning and celebration set by Pastor Michele and the Board of Trustees, Pastor Michele was officially installed as Senior Pastor of Hope Christian Church and comissioned as Apostle on Sunday April 11, 2021 by Bishop Bill Hamon. Hope Christian Church remains under the covering of Bishop Bill Hamon, Christian International.
Hope Christian Church has remained steadfast to it's calling since 1979.
The Founding Vision
Hope Christian Church, formerly, Christian Hope Center, began as the vision of Jean Hawkins in 1953 when God spoke to her about a time yet to come. God told her to seek to meet the practical needs of the people, to share the gospel with them and give them the message of hope. Jean married David Longobardo in 1970 where they served God on the west coast. In 1971, they moved to Ft. Meade, Md and they served on the staff at Evangel Temple from 1974-1979.
Built to be a catalyst for transforming lives in the community, Pastor David and Jean established their church at Eastern Junior High School on University Boulevard in Silver Spring, Maryland in April 1979 and devoted themselves to the Christian Hope Center.
They envisioned a trans-denominational, inter-racial body of believers that they characterized as “one family joined together in one hope.”
Jean Longobardo went to be with the Lord in 1985. A few years later, David moved on to other ministry opportunities in North Carolina. The ministry was well established and the search was on for pastoral leadership.
New Leadership and Fresh Passion…1988-2020
In 1988, Pastor Harry Jackson and his wife, Pastor Vivian Michele Jackson answered the call of the Lord and moved from Painted Post, New York. At that time, they had founded and were pastoring Christian Hope Center in Painted Post, New York. The ministry was comprised of a local church, radio station and elementary school. Pastor Harry pioneered one of the first multiracial, multiethnic churches in the region. Uniquely graced by God, he broke down barriers of racial and socioeconomic prejudice that often pervaded the institution of church. Pastor Nathan Hackett continues to lead that work today. Submitted to Judson Cornwall as their personal pastor and mentor, Harry and his wife yielded their lives to spiritual and ministry development. In 1989, they transitioned to Maryland where God opened doors for national and international ministry of evangelism, discipleship and healing. Bishop Jackson preached the word of God in Argentina, England, Germany, India, Russia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Africa. Under his strategic leadership and unrelenting desire to do God’s will, Hope Christian Church grew from 200 to 3000 members.
Dr. Vivian Jackson served in many roles to support the work of the ministry including Executive Pastor. She was a veteran advocate for building strong families as the foundation for supporting academic achievement. She was also a special education expert after previously serving in Ohio and Massachusetts public school systems. As an educator and Bible teacher, she held both Masters of Arts in Education (Northeastern University, 1980), a Masters of Theological Studies (Logos Bible College,1984) and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (University of Phoenix, 2013).
Dr. Jackson, affectionately known as "Dr. Vivian" or "the Marriage Doctor," was an author, counselor and international conference speaker. She hosted conferences and workshops to help families foster strength and unity, both in marriages and in relationships between parents and children. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007, a form of blood cancer, Dr. Vivian again fought against the odds. Through various treatments and hospital stays, she continued to pray and counsel others through their struggles to bring them to freedom in Christ.
Dr. Vivian went home to be with the Lord April 2, 2018.
Jackson served as one of the chief conveners of the Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide Movement; This was an effort to heal racial division first in the church and then the nation. He was also founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC). The HILC became an agent of healing for our nation by educating and empowering churches and community leaders to make grassroots improvements in their communities, states and our nation. Bishop Jackson was also a leading researcher on the black church. His book entitled High Impact African American Churches, co-authored with George Barna, was nominated in 2005 by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Gold Medallion award. He authored over ten books. His last book, A Manifesto: Christian America’s Contract with Minorities was a labor of love for Bishop Jackson to bring to completion and was published in August 2020.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the prestigious Williams College and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. His secular work experience included positions in several Fortune 500 companies. Diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in the summer of 2005, Jackson entered into a nearly fatal battle for his life. Against the odds, Harry continued to preach and teach the word. While doctors prognosticated that Harry would not survive one year past his 2006 surgery, God granted Jackson 14 more years of miraculous life.
Bishop Harry Jackson went home to be with the Lord on November 9, 2020.
(Pictured left to right: Bishop Bill Hamon, Dr. Vivian M. Jackson, Bishop Harry R. Jackson and Tony Perkins - Episcopal Banquet, Mayflower Hotel, June 2012).