EAST ORANGE, NJ — Virginia pastor the Rev. Vernard E. Hinton has been named the new senior pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of East Orange after a national search and formal election process.
Forty-nine candidates were considered for the position. The list was eventually pared down to only two, concluding the two-year search process that was led by a 10-member committee. Hinton will take the reins as the church’s fourth senior pastor, succeeding the Rev. Dwight D. Gill, who retired last year after 25 years.
One of the primary challenges facing churches today is the ability to attract the younger generation to its traditional style of worship. The most common way young people are connecting is through digital devices. As technology increasingly drives society, many church leaders, including Hinton, the new pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of East Orange, are exploring and embracing technology and innovative concepts to connect and engage millennials through various digital platforms. Technology is playing a more prominent role in the life of the church, said Hinton.
“We have to engage young people with methods they are accustomed to using to communicate such as live streams, text messages, hashtags, tweets and Instagram,” he explained. “This also provides an opportunity for the church to connect, interact and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ globally to people in non-traditional ways.”
During his visits to the church as a candidate to preach and meet the congregation, Hinton connected with the church and was overwhelmingly selected by the congregation as its next leader. “We look forward to his installation with excitement because of his impressive talents, leadership and most importantly, for the vision he has for moving our church to the next level in the future, said Deacon Roy Herring, chairman of the Board of Deacons and vice president of the Search Committee.
A formal pastoral installation service is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, at 5 p.m., at New Hope Baptist Church, 144 Norman St., East Orange. The theme is “Moving Forward by Faith.”
Hinton’s life verse is Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
On accepting the pastorate position, he remarked, “To be called to this amazing church by God is certainly one of the greatest pleasures and privileges of my life. I was humbly touched by the officers and congregation’s overwhelming confidence in my leadership ability.”
He further commented, “I look forward — with great enthusiasm and faith — to the remarkable things we will achieve together at New Hope Baptist Church as servants of God.” Hinton is passionate about reaching and ministering to every generation. This has already been seen weekly in his efforts to grow a church that minister cross-generationally.
Hinton’s wife — and partner in ministry — is Tracey Nicole Hinton. In response to his new position, she stated, “I am so overwhelmingly proud that he has achieved his dream. He consistently pours himself into the ministry, while being an incredible father to our amazing boys and a wonderful husband.”
A distinguished Bible expositor and gifted speaker, Hinton is a nationally sought after preacher, lecturer, retreat leader and revivalist. The breadth of his ministry is far reaching as he has served in several key leadership positions, including youth pastor, minister of discipleship, senior pastor and site pastor at churches in Virginia and North Carolina, where he introduced new initiatives that enhanced the church’s growth, significantly increased tithing and fostered member and community engagement. Hinton also developed systems to improve the four areas that drive effective church assimilation: hospitality, information gathering, follow up and connection.
Prior to his pastoral appointment at New Hope Baptist Church of East Orange, Hinton had served as the pastoral preaching assistant at Christian Unity Baptist Church in Waldorf, Md.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va., a master’s degree in divinity from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., and a doctorate of divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Hinton and his wife are the parents of twin boys, Chase and Mason, ages 9.
For more information, call the church office at 973-678-6710.