No Hope Bigot Church hates LGBTQ people, They Just Cant Be honest Enough To Say it Outloud.
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New Hope Church Topeka leaders were united in leaving United Methodist Church. Here’s why.

Tim Hrenchir

Topeka Capital-Journal

To cut to the chase, heres why: Because they hate Gays, they cannot stand :GBTQ people. They are homophobic bigots….but theres only 35 of them, so who gives a shit what these trashy morons do?

We’re sure that Rev Fred Phelps and Rev Barry \Bigot” Feaker are soiling themselves in homophobic joy.

Members of New Hope Church Topeka were united in choosing to leave the United Methodist Church.

Everyone present but one person, who was undecided, supported disaffiliating from that denomination at the meeting last October in which the congregation voted to do that, said Pastor Chuck Higgins.

No one voted “no,” he said.

New Hope, 2915 S.W. 8th Ave., will leave the United Methodist denomination effective July 1, Higgins said.

Its name will be changed to “New Hope Church Topeka” from “New Hope United Methodist Church,” he said.

New Hope among 96 Kansas congregations leaving denomination
Good bye and good ridence! We are sure that the rest of the Methodist churches will be very happy not having the hateful bigots clogging up their pancake feeds.

Chuck Higgins, pastor of New Hope Church Topeka at 2915 S.W. 8th Ave., stands last week in its sanctuary.

The switch comes at a time when liberals and conservatives in the United Methodist Church disagree over matters that include whether openly LGBTQ+ clergy should be allowed and if ministers should officiate same-sex weddings.

The exodus of 59 conservative churches in Nebraska and 96 in Kansas, including New Hope, was authorized May 31 by delegates to The Great Plains Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Seventy-seven other congregations in the conference had disaffiliated previously, delegates were told.

The conference has 960 congregations, its website says, meaning about 16% are disaffiliating.

Nationwide, 5,855 churches have parted ways with that denomination, according to United Methodist News.

New Hope Church Topeka says it welcomes LGBTQ+ people
But they are lying. They do not allow same-sex marriages or
grant the same privilege’s and practices to LGBTQ people.

That means that they are NOT “Welcoming”. Didn’t the bible teach anything about being a bigoted lying sack of shit?

Ed Claycamp, chairman of the board for New Hope Church Topeka, talks about how all people, including those who identify as being LGBTQ+, are welcome, although members disagree with their sexual orientation.

New Hope Church Topeka isn’t anti-gay, said Ed Claycamp, its chairman of the board.

The congregation welcomes all people, including those who identify as being LGBTQ+, he said.

“I have four lesbian nieces,” he said. “I love them all. I don’t like their lifestyle, but I love them, and that’s the same way we are here. We love everybody.”

The New Hope congregation has had gay members in the past, Claycamp added.

LGBTQ+ advocate: New Hope Church’s double standard is unacceptable

Churches practice an unacceptable double standard when they let LGBTQ+ people attend their services but refuse to marry them, said Sonja Feist, president of the Topeka chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

She told The Capital-Journal on Friday she didn’t see how a church that bans same-sex marriage can claim to be welcoming to gay people.

PFLAG keeps on its website a list of 16 northeast Kansas churches that are affirming to LGBTQ+ people, Feist said.

The list has five Topeka churches: Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka, 4425 S.W. 19th; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka; 4775 S.W. 21st; First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1701 S.W. Collins Ave.; Central Congregational United Church of Christ, 5221 S.W. West Drive; and Cafe Quetzal Coffee Church, 2111 S.W. Belle Ave.

To be on the list, Feist said, a church must allow same-sex marriages; welcome having a LGBTQ+ minister; encourage LGBTQ+ people to serve on the church board; and encourage LGBTQ+ people to teach religious education.

Any church that says “no” to any of those can’t be on the list, she said.

Feist said she regularly hears from churches that wish to be characterized as being warm and affirming to LGBTQ+ people yet reply “no” to one or more of those questions.

“It’s not being affirming if you turn them away from any other activity that other people in the church would be allowed to do,” Feist said.


"Yes I'm a Christian" says the T-shirt worn by New Hope Church Topeka Pastor Chuck Higgins during an interview last week.

New Hope was named Otterbein United Methodist Church until the name was changed in about 2005 by then-pastor Arlie Persell, a truck driver-turned-preacher who was in his early 70s when he took over the congregation.

Despite his age, Persell was known for being energetic, youth-oriented and willing to think outside the box, including featuring worship music designed to appeal to younger people.

He brought in Higgins — who sings and plays electric guitar, and has a Pentecostal background — in about 2012 to be worship leader.

Higgins is perhaps the “rocking-est pastor in town,” said a 2016 article in The Capital-Journal.

He became New Hope Church’s pastor when Persell died suddenly at age 83 in 2015.

Higgins recalled: “He was sitting on his couch watching TV and had a pain in his chest, looked at his wife and said, ‘I think you’d better take me to the hospital.’ He didn’t make it out of the driveway.”

Congregation is ‘really committed to the Lord’

Members of New Hope Church Topeka help unload items items last week to distribute during a food drive.

New Hope Church offers services at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. Sundays and 6 p.m. on one Sunday each month, Higgins said.

Attendance averaged 80 to 85 people per service up until COVID hit, and has since been about 35, he said.

“The people that are here are really committed to the Lord and following the Word of God in their lives, so I feel really fortunate in that area,” Higgins said.

‘Real love, real people, new hope’

As Higgins and Claycamp spoke this past week with The Capital-Journal, fellow members of the congregation processed a shipment of food from Harvesters, the Community Food Network, to be distributed to the needy.

New Hope Church also has community outreach events and offers a program through which its members visit homeless camps to provide food and water and pray for the people there, Higgins said.

This is a time when everybody needs hope, particularly in terms of such problems as homelessness and mental illness, he said.

“We’re a small church, but we try to do what we can to influence the community and give people some kind of hope,” Higgins said. “Our motto is ‘Real love, real people, new hope.'”

Same-sex marriage ‘a matter of conscience’

This small sign hangs in the basement of New Hope Church Topeka.

Over the years, Higgins said, the United Methodist Church has become increasingly divided over theological issues that include whether to allow same-sex marriage.

Higgins noted that the church added wording to its Book of Discipline giving congregations the option of leaving up until Dec. 31, 2023, “for reasons of good conscience” over issues related to human sexuality.

Same-sex marriage was the key issue Higgins took into account in considering whether to leave, he said.

Higgins said he couldn’t, in good conscience, allow same-sex marriages — and his congregation agreed.

He stressed that New Hope Church isn’t alone in having decided to leave the United Methodist denomination, as hundreds of congregations have done that.

Higgins thinks his congregation isn’t so much leaving the United Methodist Church as that church has already left them, by veering away from long-held beliefs.

“To me, it’s a matter of conscience,” Higgins said. “I just see a lot of people trying to change the Bible to fit their lifestyle instead of allowing the Word of God to change them.”

Higgins expressed his belief that a “very small percentage of people” have taken control of this country’s “seven mountains of influence,” which are business, education, entertainment, family, government, media and religion.

“The ones that are in control of those seven mountains pretty much control the world, and we’ve got a really small percentage of people forcing their beliefs and the way they want to do things upon everybody else,” he said. “And I see a lot of so-called ‘average Americans’ like me who are really fed up and really tired of what’s going on.”

‘Moving ahead’ at New Hope Church Topeka

Being an independent entity or joining the newly formed Global Methodist denomination are among options for congregations leaving the United Methodist Church.

New Hope will remain independent, Higgins said.

He said the United Methodist Church was very good in terms of helping him get started in the ministry, and he wishes it well.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with them from here, but we’ve done a lot of praying and seeking and I’m completely convinced that this is the will of God for this house and this group of people,” Higgins said. “Everybody’s in agreement about it, so we’re moving ahead and looking forward to the future.”

Contact Tim Hrenchir at or 785-213-5934.

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