Pastor Steve M. Epting, Sr. has been involved in ministry for seventeen years. He was installed as the Senior Pastor of Hope Community Church in February of 2004. Pastor Epting’s straight forward approach of teaching the Word of God in growing God’s kingdom has attributed to the rise in membership of Hope from under two hundred to a congregation well over eight hundred members.
Education And Training
Pastor Epting acquired a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Chicago State Illinois. His background includes twenty years of senior management in non-profits, community corrections, employment and training. Pastor Epting served as a Consultant for the National Institute of Corrections and the Safer Foundation.
God instilled in Pastor Epting a vision and passion to identify and meet the needs of others both locally and globally. While Pastor Epting being led by God and driven by his passion, the Hope Food Pantry was established to aid the fight against hunger. What started out as a pantry that provided food supplies to 20-30 families a month now provides food to on average 300-350 families per month [1400 individuals]. The Hope Food Pantry goes a step further by delivering food items to local senior living facilities and Austin residents who are sick and/or shut-in.
In keeping to his beliefs that “learning doesn’t end when the school bell rings,” in addition to providing a safe, fun, and creative learning environment for local youths to participate in during summer months via Hope’s Summer Youth Program by which Pastor Epting has established an After-School Program. In partnership with the Chicago Public School System’s Safe Haven Program. Hope offers an After-School Program that provides students with much needed resources [homework help, tutoring, anti-bullying sessions, meals, etc.]. With an enrollment of 35+ area youths and an average daily attendance of 25, the program is servicing to enrich the students’ academic achievements.
In 2008, Pastor Epting and Hope Community Church [partnered with the Buchanan AC Church] took the lead in acquiring the needed funds to erect a house of worship and a medical center in Liberia, Africa an area stricken by poverty and a high HIV infestation.
Today, Hope continues to provide funding for building improvements, clean water and medical supplies.
Pastor Epting is the President of the Helping Our People Excel [H.O.P.E.] Community Development Corporation, whose main focus are to improve the quality of life for residents of the Austin community by addressing physical, emotional, psychological, economic, and employment needs. The outreach programs include healthy eating [pantry], educational training, youth employment, scholarship program, senior services, etc. H.O.P.E. serves in excess of 2,500 individuals in the Austin area monthly.
God has blessed Pastor Steve Epting, Sr. with his beautiful wife, Felicia, one son, Steve Jr., one daughter, Sydney, and one grandchild, Shane Epting.
Additional Outreach Ministries/Programs