Hoffmantown Church: Past, Present, and Future
For over fifty years, Hoffmantown Church has been used by God to teach ad preach the good news of God’s grace. Here’s a look at our history.
Hoffmantown voluntarily chooses to continue its affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. This affiliation is maintained by voluntary contributions to doctrinally approved missions on local, state, national, and foreign levels. This affiliation is also supported by sending messengers to the annual convention for voting the doctrinal, ethical, and procedural positions of the members. By this affiliation, we assume the responsibility that our stewardship is to support only doctrinally, morally, and ethically sound ministries within the convention and outside the convention. (2 John 10-11)
1950s: Chapel to Church
Hoffmantown was established in January of 1953 as a mission church of First Baptist Church, Albuquerque. Earl R. Keating of First Baptist Church, Hobbs was called to lead this young congregation as the first pastor of Hoffmantown Mission Chapel. Approximately 300 attended the first service. After only a year, Hoffmantown became a self-sustaining church, changing its name to Hoffmantown Baptist Church on the 1st anniversary. It didn’t take long for this little church to become one of the fastest growing churches in New Mexico.
1960s: Continued Growth
During the nineteen sixties, Baptist programs, a drama ministry, traveling youth choirs and VBS became important parts of Hoffmantown’s ministry. In March of 1965, Hoffmantown built a new auditorium which still exists on Wyoming Boulevard today. After thirteen years of service, Pastor Keating retired in May of 1965, making way for Hoffmantown’s second pastor, Dr. Kenneth Balthrop. Dr. Balthrop continued to lead the church through years of growth and change. In 1967, Dr. Balthrop started the Living Nativity, which would be a beloved Christmas tradition for years to come.
1970s: Ministry Expands
This decade is marked by an emphasis on reaching out to the community, state, nation and world through various ministries including a children’s bus ministry, Harvesters, ESL classes, and choir musicals. Dr. Balthrop served as pastor until 1972, when Hoffmantown’s third pastor, Dr. James Bryant, was called to lead. His solid biblical preaching was used by God to deepen the church spiritually and open their understanding of the impact Hoffmantown could have Albuquerque. At this time, a television ministry was birthed which still ministers weekly to the state of New Mexico. Dr. Bryant concluded his pastorate in 1976. Pastor Norm Boshoff was called to Hoffmantown the following year.
Under its new leadership, Hoffmantown saw the addition of new ministries, including neighborhood groups, women’s groups, and LLL (a group for senior adults). A park and ride ministry began in order to accommodate the growth at the Wyoming location. In 1981, a capital campaign was initiated to raise funds for a relocation project. This resulted in the selection of the present site at Ventura and Harper. Ground breaking began in April of 1986, and the first worship service in the new building took place on September 20, 1987. The new facility provided space for the fall festival, an alternative to Halloween. A 24-hour prayer ministry also began during this time. Under the leadership of Pastor Boshoff, Hoffmantown’s membership and attendance more than doubled in size to 2,200.
1990s: Focus on Outreach
Pastor Boshoff retired in 1990, and the deacons invited Dr. Roy Fish to serve as an interim pastor. In 1991, Dr. Charles Lowery became the fifth man to lead Hoffmantown. He challenged the church to think ‘outside the lines.’ This challenge was answered through the introduction of a Saturday night service as well as Power Lunch, a ministry to the Business Community. Both made a great impact on the church body and the community. In September of 1992, Hoffmantown had its first Round Up. By the mid-nineties, attendance at the fall festival averaged between 8,000-10,000 children. Due to continued growth, in 1995 ground breaking began on the current Children’s building. Hoffmantown West was founded in 1999 with Todd Cook, Hoffmantown’s student pastor, as Senior Pastor. Hoffmantown West became an independent church in 2002, and has since been re-named Sagebrush Community Church.
2000s: A New Direction
Pastor Lowery resigned in July of 2001. On March 24, 2002, Dr. Wayne A. Barber became Hoffmantown’s sixth pastor. Wayne encourages believers to live surrendered to Christ moment by moment. His passion for God’s word and expository preaching played a key-role in Hoffmantown’s transition to elder leadership and the vision to be an equipping church. The inaugural Missions Conference was held in the spring of 2003. This annual event exposes members to the people and work supported through Hoffmantown’s giving, and demonstrates the continued expansion of Hoffmantown Missions around the globe. In August of 2007, Hoffmantown celebrated the retirement of a multi-million dollar debt. The children and student facilities have been renovated over the last few years, reflecting an emphasis on families and the younger generations of Hoffmantown. The church has also endeavored to impact the local community and region, becoming ‘a Lighthouse to the West.’ This focus is personified by the undertaking in March of 2008 of Not So Extreme Makeover, a city-wide effort to improve the lives and homes of over fifty families.
2010s: The Road Forward
The Mission Field and amphitheater were completed and dedicated in 2010 and instantly became a hub not only for the church, but for the community as well. The various facilities are utilized as a recreational area, multi-sport venue, home to Hoffmantown’s Sports Ministry, meeting place, event venue, picnic area and children’s playground. Pastor Wayne Barber resigned in January of 2011 to answer God’s call to return to the church he formerly pastored. An intensive pastor search led to the recommendation by the elder board, confirmation by the body and, on October 23, 2011, the installation of Erik Christensen as Hoffmantown’s Sr. Pastor. Pastor Erik and the elders prayerfully developed Hoffmantown¹s Vision, Purpose and Mission through which we filter teaching and church life. Vision Colossians 1:28 “That each person would be introduced to Jesus Christ in order to Know Him and Follow Him”. Purpose Romans 12:4-5 “To Cultivate a healthy Biblical Community where Jesus in known and lives are being transformed for the Glory of God”. Mission Ephesians 4:11-12 “Our Mission is to serve, encourage, and equip God’s people in His Word, fulfilling the Great Commission as we follow Him with surrendered hearts”. This is an exciting time as we seek to follow God’s leading through surrendered hearts and transformed lives.