“Our number one message is hope. Our goal is to spread hope and Jesus Christ is at the center of that hope,” said Pastor David Elijah, who leads The New Hope Calvary Church. “He changed my life years ago. Once I knew who He was, it became my goal to spread the word. Knowing Jesus changes things, He doesn’t care about our past, He meets us where we are, and He changes us. That’s the message.”
The New Hope Calvary Church congregation had been meeting at Traverse Mountain Elementary on Sundays until four weeks ago when they moved into their new home on State Street. They’ve transformed the old police station into a sanctuary where they hold services at 11 a.m. every Sunday.
“Every week we go through God’s work, either from the Bible or a topic we’ve chosen,” Pastor David explained. The stage in the sanctuary accommodates the band, and after singing, Pastor David or his Assistant Pastor Emmanuel gives a prepared sermon.
“We keep it simple – it’s all about Jesus. Believe upon Him and you shall be saved. I believe that. Questions are going to come up and we welcome that, but we learn a piece at a time,” continued Elijah.
David Elijah was a performer in the music industry when he was only 16 years old. His pop-rock band signed with Interscope in California and toured the country together. “I got to see a lot of the world and things I never thought I’d see at a young age. I learned that the music industry is pretty terrible. I had to mature quickly,” he remembered
“I got very egotistical; it was all about me,” Elijah continued.“My wife and I had some things happen in our life that made me question everything and made me want to find God. I was raised in a Christian home, but it was my parents’ faith, not mine. I went on my own journey looking at every religion you can think of, and I landed on this.”
New Hope Calvary Chapel is a movement started in California in the 1970s. Elijah describes it as a group of non-denominational churches coming together. “The point is to share about hope and share about Jesus. That’s it,” he explained.
David Elijah and his band went on the “Warped” tour with Katy Perry and other big-name artists in 2008. During that final tour, Elijah was trying to figure out his purpose. After that summer, Elijah quit the band and moved to Utah with his then-girlfriend who later became his wife. He’s never been back to California.
“In the Bible Jesus is the only God who came down for us. Everything else I read is us going to Him. He came here to die for me. That’s what got me – that Jesus would leave his throne and come here for me. He came to serve me – I’m a nobody. It made me want to serve Him in return,” Elijah recalled.
He gave up everything he knew and reset his whole life here in Utah. “I went from playing music on big stages and being on tour to working at Café Zupas for $6 an hour. Who does that?” laughs Elijah. “It’s easy to get stuck, to think that we have to keep doing the thing we’re doing. We can always reset and change lanes.”
The New Hope Calvary Church in Lehi has a small reception desk right inside the door where members and new friends can connect and hang out before and after meetings. They also have what Elijah calls “merch for the church,” like sweatshirts, mugs and hats. Proceeds from the sale of those items help fund the building. New Hope stays active on social media too, and their website is https://www.nhccchurch.com/.
“Love God, love people. Everyone is going through something and we’re here to help. The cool thing about Jesus is He meets us where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there,” Pastor David concluded before he got onstage to sing and preach to his congregation.
All are welcome to join Elijah’s congregation.