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Randy Hope celebrates 25 years at First Baptist Church of Abbeville

The First Baptist Church of Abbeville is celebrating Pastor Randy Hope’s 25th anniversary of serving the church.

Hope will officially celebrate his anniversary of being at the church on July 10. This marks him as being the longest-serving pastor at the church since it opened in 1841.

“He’s been at the church as long as I can remember,” Scott Hollowell, a deacon at First Baptist of Abbeville, said. “I’m 28-years-old, so he’s the only preacher I know, which is a huge deal as far as being at a church for that long – especially a Southern Baptist Church.”

Hope came to Abbeville on July 10, 1995 from the small town of Ellistown, Miss. Before that, he had been to many locations across the state, country and world to lead people to the Lord. He has been instrumental in leading countless people to Christ, according to his wife, Cheryl Hope.

“Brother Randy has always been only a phone call away, and will stop what he is doing in a time of crisis,” Cheryl said. “He always finds a way to offer a calming ‘It’s going to be okay’ feeling to others, no matter the situation.”

Hope, or “Brother Randy” as he’s known, has shown how much he cares for the church and the community through his compassion and readiness to help on a continuous basis, according to Hollowell.

“He’s the guy who is not only a preacher; he’ll go visit hospitals the church members are in,” Hollowell said. “If people in the community have passed away that don’t have a church, he’s the preacher who will preach at their funeral. He’s the preacher for even more people than just his congregation.”

In addition to preaching, Hope has also demonstrated his ability to communicate with people of all ages through teaching at Northwest Community College in Oxford.

He is also apart of the Christian Motorcycle Association, or CMA, which is responsible for spreading Christianity throughout the biker community by attending rallies and holding different types of events. Hope can often be seen cruising around on his Harley motorcycle around town.

“He’s a really great, community leader-type person,” Hollowell said.