Christian Churches Unite During Turbulent Times

Using outdoor prayer circles at the local city hall, soup kitchens in the heart of downtown, and live Christian music at the local coffeehouse, New England Christian churches are responding to the unease felt during the current turbulent times. With broad outreach programs appealing to all ages, the churches are pushing forward with a strong faith-based effort to influence positive change.

Pastor Paul Hoffman

“We are a divided nation. We believe the only way to heal our divide is to unite around the hope we have in Jesus Christ, said Pastor Paul Hoffman of Evangelical Friends Church (EFC) Newport. “We believe remembering together, praying together, singing together and sharing stories of faith building bridges of reconciliation.” 

With this in mind, EFC Newport has saved the date at Easton’s Beach in Newport, for the 3rd Annual New England Festival of Hope. This joint effort of 15 New England churches is planned for September 11, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Entertainment for the event will include inspirational speeches, a BMX bike demonstration, live music, and free popcorn, cotton candy and children’s activities.

In honor of the 15th anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11, the Festival will also provide the patriotic sounds of the Navy Band Northeast, as well as an honor guard and gun salute with local police and fire departments.

Navy Band Northeast

Guest speakers include RI Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, City of Newport Vice Chair Marco T. Camacho, Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Dwight Evans, four-time XGames gold medalist Kevin Robinson (K-Rob) and current New England Revolution midfielder Teal Bunbury .

The diverse musical line-up includes contemporary Christian performers Kimo Baker; Zac Lenz; Jonny Geeze and his band; Gospel singer Kenneth (KW) Johnson and local Newport Christian rapper Chris McCabe.

The Festival of Hope is sponsored by neighboring New England churches including: Evangelical Friends Church of Newport, Christ Church, Crosspoint Church, Community Baptist Church, Community Covenant Church, First Presbyterian Church, Graceway Church, Groton Bible Chapel, His Providence Church, Middletown Baptist Church, Mount Hope Church, Osterville Baptist Church, Portsmouth Evangelical Friends Church, Portsmouth United Methodist Church and the Salvation Army Newport.

This event is family friendly and free for all to participate. For more information, visit EFC Newport is a contemporary church located at 70 Bliss Mine Road, Middletown RI. For more information visit

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).