By: Dezaray Barr
Michael Hewitt is the Senior and Founding Pastor of Rising Hope Church in Muncie, Indiana. He graduated from Grace College in 1996 with a degree in Music Education & Performance. He was ordained by the Wesleyan Church in 2010.
“In 1991, I enrolled at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana,” he said. “Starting out, I was a double major in Music Education and Pre-Med. This double major only lasted for two years, as my passion for seeing others come to Christ grew into my calling for ministry. During this time, I discovered that the ultimate purpose of my undergrad experience was NOT education. My first purpose was to discover my gifts and learn how I could best use them in life and in ministry. Second to this, was my education. God used my love for music to help teach worship. He used my passion for medicine and rehabilitation for a calling in ministry to rescue people eternally (Luke 19:10).”
Hewitt shared, “God has affirmed my calling in ministry literally every day for 22 years in full-time ministry. However, we all know God can be full of surprises. One thing I never planned on was planting two churches with plans to plant again in five years. In addition, perhaps my greatest joy has been watching students in my ministry receive a call to ministry and serving in their local church.”
Rising Hope Church is Muncie’s newest church. They are currently meeting once a week as a Launch Team, where they plan, pray and prepare to launch their first public service that week after Labor Day,on September 9, 2018. Hewitt said, “Through the summer we have some exciting outreaches being planned. Being a church planter is an amazing blessing while at the same time a huge challenge. Every day literally brings unique and exciting blessings. I can honestly say that over my 22 years of full time ministry I have never seen God work like he does within the context of a brand new church plant!”
Some challenges for Hewitt and his launch team include: 110,000 people live in Delaware County and 83,000 of people are unclaimed. “This means that 76% of people in our county will be eternally separated from God if they are not reached,” Hewitt explained. “30.7% of people in Muncie are in poverty. 58% of children going into Kindergarten are not ready. Over half of the babies born in Ball Memorial Hospital are born with an addiction. While many of these statistics drive people away, it has drawn our family to Muncie and our Launch Team to Rising Hope. For Rising Hope Church, we don’t see these as insurmountable problems, but more as opportunities for people to see God work.”
Some fun facts about Hewitt include that he’s very good at playing pool, and you can find him at a pool tournament, reaching people for Christ while shooting pool. “I also tour with Gospel Trick Shots performing trick shots and sharing the gospel from the pool table,” he said. If you’re interested, go to www.gospeltrickshot.org to learn more or book a show.
Hewitt and his wife, Kim, have been married for 22 years. Kim has been working as a worship leader since age 14, and she currently serves as the Worship and Administration pastor at Rising Hope. They have six children. Brianne, their oldest, just completed her freshmen year at IWU in the John Wesley Honors College, majoring in Music Education.
Hewitt added, “This summer, as we prepare to launch Muncie’s newest church in September, we realize that we need help. As a result, we are in search of churches that would be interested in going on a missions trip to Muncie and partnering with us.” To contact Hewitt, contact him here.
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.