God has called us to play a role in His grand plan of redemption across the globe. Because of this conviction, the elders at Bluff Park Community Church joyfully direct a minimum of 10% of our general fund budget every year to church planting efforts around the globe. In the coming months, we will be highlighting each of the areas these funds are being directed to. We would like to do this for three reasons:
- We want to celebrate what the Lord is doing among us and through us in the world.
- We want to clearly communicate with our people where ministry funds are being directed.
- We want to be faithful in prayer for these ministries so that our support of these missionary efforts go beyond mere financial support.
We invite you to get to know Alton and Sandra Hardy and the work God has called them to in Fairfield, AL through Urban Hope Community Church.
Tell us a little about yourselves and your family. We have five adult children, three boys and two girls. Currently, only our 19-year-old son lives with us in Birmingham. Sandra’s 85-year-old mom lives with us and we have the glorious responsibility of honoring her, taking care of her according to the scriptures.
How did you end up planting a church in Fairfield Alabama? We have been in involved with two church plants in Michigan, where we were part of the core team that carried the heavy load in getting the church off the ground, and into safe waters. God birthed the vision of Urban Hope in my heart while serving in that first church plant. He clarified it while serving faithfully in the second church plant. After some divine interruptions, God made it clear that it was time to pursue the vision of Urban Hope, which lead us to Birmingham four years ago.
What is the mission and vision of Urban Hope Community Church? We exist to be a missional community devoted to growing disciples of Jesus, who are confident of their true identity in Christ, and agents of Hope in Fairfield & beyond…
Leading people out of Egypt and into the promise land of freedom.
What are a few of the ways you are seeking to pursue the mission / vision of establishing a gospel-centered church in your city? The heart of UHCC is discipling the urban poor, which includes those who are fatherless, single moms, underemployed, undereducated, and those most impacted by systemic injustices of all kinds. Every day we are eagerly engaging the urban poor in Fairfield with the gospel in a variety of ways:
- building community and fellowship through our basketball league
- serving in the Fairfield public middle and high schools
- providing Power for Life training courses for obtaining stable employment
- offering an Urban Hope Academy dropout recovery program for high school students
- establishing a presence in Fairfield by simply engaging the community holistically
Tell us a recent story of how God’s grace is making an impact in your current context. Recently we encountered a 25-year-old homeless guy from the hard streets of Fairfield. He had no identification, no family or moral support, and no hope. Our newly trained campus outreach guys, who are being filled with gospel theology for the poor, were given an immediate opportunity to live out their mission daily. God presented a scenario for us and our church to put all this urban theology into action, right after we had one of the most riveting sermons ever preached at Urban Hope. It has been about three months now and the story is only getting better with time. A homeless guy is being transformed by a Gospel Community of love and truth—no program, no gimmicks, just old fashioned gospel of walking alongside someone who was deeply in need of material resources as well as the spiritual needs. God is getting much glory from this rags-to-gospel transformation.
That is just one of many more stories, as our faith is constantly being stretched. We see that God is present in his divine intervention for the small things, let alone the big things. We love the faith-stretching exercise of living on the edge and feeling God calling us to walk upon the waters in Fairfield. It magnifies his glory and his name.
If you would like to financially support our efforts to plant gospel-centered churches in our city, our state, our region and the world, please consider giving towards this goal. You may give online by simply clicking here.
Learn more about Alton and Sandra…
Alton Hardy is the Founder of Urban Hope Community Church (UHCC) and Co-founder of Urban Hope Development in Fairfield AL. Alton and his wife Sandra have been blessed with five children, three boys and two girls. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA, Evangel Presbytery). Before planting UHCC, Alton has played a major leadership role in planting and starting three urban initiatives that addressed the plight and conditions facing urban communities. Alton has a deep passion for the urban poor and is a sought out speaker and speaks with much conviction concerning the ministry of Word and Deed. Alton holds a degree from Alpena Community College, Reformed Bible College, Calvin Seminary, and Completion from Antioch Leadership Training in Reformed Preaching.
Sandra Hardy is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Urban Hope Development in Fairfield AL. She holds a Masters Degree in Pubic Administration from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelors from Davenport University. Sandra’s name means a helper of mankind which she exudes in all matters of life. Her love for seeing the urban poor beat the odds is undeniable and she puts in the hard work behind the scenes that makes it a reality for many that have been discipled by her along the way. Sandra is currently completing Devos Urban Leadership Initiative and leading many gospel initiatives in Fairfield, along with her husband Alton Hardy.
Update: Check out this video produced by The Gospel Coalition which highlights the ministry Urban Hope Community Church is pursuing in the city of Fairfield.