New Church in Duluth Opens on Easter Sunday

Updated: April 21, 2019 10:28 PM

On Easter Sunday the Encounter Youth Center in Duluth celebrated the grand opening of a church that opened there called Hope City Church.


"We decided to do our church plant here at the Encounter because it's so new and beautiful, so why not start on Easter? where you're thinking about resurrection and newness of life,” Mark Pavola, the pastor for Hope City Church and a director of the Youth for Christ at the Encounter Center, said.

A resurrection happened at the Encounter Center. It reopened in Fall of 2018 after it was closed for almost a year when a flood damaged the building. The flood happened in December 2017 when water pipes burst and caused the building to flood on all three levels.

"Thankfully we had a good insurance program. They started rebuilding and redoing and it was almost like a new building. Everything in here is new, the floors, the ceiling, the lights,” Pavola said. "And at the same time, running parallel to that, god had put it on my heart to start this new church right here in the inner city hillside of Duluth."

The need for unity and special attention to the struggling hillside neighborhood is what inspired Pavola to start Hope City Church. And that inspired other to join in and help with the effort.

"In this area there’s a lot of brokenness and hurting people. We wanted to reach out to a community that not a lot of people I feel have reached out to. Bring that place people can call home and be a safe place,” Shannon Ashcraft, a member of Hope City Church, said.

"I'm excited to see our footprint actually here on central hillside and administer to those who are less fortunate and those who don't have a church home,” Greg Bijold, a member of Hope City Church.

Now that the Encounter Youth Center is full of life again, Hope City Church hopes to do the same to the hillside community.

"We have great hope for this area and to see what could happen in sort of the new life being brought here,” Pavola said.

The church is located on 201 E 1st St, Duluth, MN 55802 and has services Sunday at 11 a.m. For more information, click here.

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