Our Story

Hope Grove, affiliated with Converge Worldwide, got its start back in 2005 as "enCompass Church," thanks in large part to initiative and financial support from Grace Fellowship Church, Willowbrook Community Church, and Grace Point Church. We relaunched under the new name "Hope Grove Church" in 2019.

Our mission is to join with all of God's purposes through forming real connections. You can check out our mission, vision, and values here. 

behind the name:
Hope Grove

Near the beginning of my research for naming a church, after establishing a blessing from our founding pastor to consider the change, I had researched evocative ideas indicative of our area in Minnesota. I discovered that the most common tree in our state is the quaking aspen, from the "poplar" genus. From a local church planting network in our denomination called the "Aspen Grove Network," I learned that the roots beneath this community of trees are all interconnected. This creates a resilient community. If one tree is cut down, the root system provides enough life for a new one to grow back in its place.
If a fire burns through the colony, the life left in the root system replaces the lost trees with new ones. For these reasons, aspen groves are among the oldest organisms on the planet. The oldest are rumored to be over 80,000 years old.
As these incredible images haunted me for weeks, the prayer team at our church offered to pray over my family as we stepped into this new season of our lives. Lisa Vaupel, without having any insight into my research, chose theme verses for the prayer gathering, and they read: "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams." What are the chances that out of the 31,102 verses in the Bible, Lisa would pick one of the ten that talk about poplar trees? God was and continues to guide us to consider what it would look like to exemplify this community of trees discussed in Isaiah 44, filled with the Spirit of God, growing strong by His streams, deeply connected in our root system below ground, and providing shelter, air, life, integration, and witness to His goodness, Kingdom, and ultimately Hope above ground to the world around us.

Alex Blackwell
Lead Pastor, Hope Grove Church


An integral part of our story is that we love to start new things. We have enthusiastically initiated and participated in the launch of Renovation Church in Blaine (2009), Ignite Church in Oakdale (2012), Hope Bridge Church in Plymouth (2012), and Revision Church in Des Moines, IA (2015). These churches have since multiplied into even more church plants! We've also commissioned the latest area developer for Young Life in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.