Baltimore, MD

Hopeville Church


Fall 2021


Joshua & Ericka Symonette

God has given Joshua and Ericka Symonette a vision for a new faith community in Baltimore!

Beginning in 2018, Joshua and Ericka sensed that God was preparing them for a new chapter. Through a season of fasting, prayer, and seeking counsel, they discerned that God was leading them away from the DC area, where they had spent the past 16 years growing their family and serving their city. Ericka graduated from Howard University in DC and worked as a teacher in the DC area for 15 years, while Joshua came to DC chasing his NFL dreams with the Washington Football Team. He later transitioned into ministry as a campus and teaching pastor. Despite the comfort and security they had established in those roles, they sensed God was leading them to something new.

The draw to Baltimore came gradually but intensely, starting with occasional trips to the city simply to get a change of place and pace, and growing over time into divinely inspired dreaming about the potential just below the surface of the vibrant city. Then, Joshua was connected with a Baltimorean who is committed to serving the city through investing in young people. In this connection, Joshua and Ericka found a clearer vision for how to be a part of the Lord's work in Baltimore.

Soon, the Symonettes became convinced that Baltimore is where God is calling them. Joshua shares: "What captured my heart was the beauty and the brokenness; the diversity and the clear lines of division. The more time we've spent there, the more we've seen that this city is deeply divided across educational, socioeconomic, and racial lines. And the children seem to be impacted most severely, with 1 out of every 3 living in poverty, and almost 2 out of every 3 kids living in single parent homes."

Within this context, Joshua and Ericka deeply desire to be a conduit of hope, to connect people to Jesus, and to help bridge the divides in the city. They hope to create a space of intersection where people with differences in age, race, gender, education, and socioeconomic status can grow together in Jesus' name in a new church for Baltimore!