New Hampton, population 3,494, is the county seat of Chickasaw County. It is located in northeast Iowa, thirty-seven miles north of Waterloo and seventy-five miles south of Rochester, Minnesota. Chickasaw County is primarily agricultural. Several industries are located within the city and provide multiple employment opportunities.
New Hampton is a wonderful place to raise a family. New Hampton has a hospital, medical clinic, three dental offices, three offices of chiropractic, optometry clinic, public library, full-service grocery store, wellness center, swimming pool, public pre-K – 12, and Catholic pre-K - 8 schools.
Racially the city is 96.0% white, 0.3% of African-American, 0.1% Native-American, 0.5% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population according to 2010 census data. More information is available on the web sites: newhamptonia.com; new-hampton.k12.ia.us; chickasawcounty.iowa.gov
Germans and Scandinavians settled the area. That background is still reflected in the population. The Catholic church is the largest group in the area, followed by Lutherans. New Hampton has a Catholic church, a Congregational (UCC) church, a Jehovah’s Witness congregation, two Lutheran churches, a Methodist church, and two evangelical churches, one of which is Harvest Church.
The church was established in 1893 and flourished with the American Baptist Churches USA until 2002. Because of growing liberalism in the ABCUSA, Harvest affiliated with the Baptist General Conference, now Converge. In 2019, Harvest joined Disciple Heritage Fellowship (DHF), a non-denominational fellowship of evangelical churches that mostly come from the Disciples of Christ denomination.
In 1966, the original building was sold and a modern 9,000 sq ft facility constructed on three acres on the expanding south edge of the city. The worship area was expanded to seat 250 and remodeled with a 3,100 sq ft addition in 2011 without incurring any debt. The parking area has capacity for 80 vehicles.
In 2014, Harvest endured a difficult split. After a forced resignation of a long-term pastor, the same leadership utilized an intentional interim for an extended period without expressing vision or direction. This exposed the leadership’s issues of control, manipulation, secrecy, dishonesty, and trust. The complete leadership team abruptly chose to resign and leave Harvest. Harvest was able to recover only through prayer and with the Lord’s grace.
Conversations continued with the restructured Minnesota-Iowa Converge region for two years. The church felt that the Converge hierarchy would not admit their poor judgement in recommending an unqualified interim and his consequent destructive actions. Sincere efforts made by Harvest during those two years to reconcile with Converge proved unsuccessful.
Harvest is now free of conflict and competition. The split resulted in the aggressive personalities leaving. The remaining Christ-followers desire to see a healthy church, do not feel the need to get their own way in unimportant issues, and rejoice when other members try new things to improve Harvest’s ministries.
Harvest joyfully supported a thriving teen ministry led by a talented, hard-working volunteer lay leader. Most of the youth came from outside Harvest, many with little or no Christian background. The group grew to more than thirty teens, with regular meetings and an annual weeklong summer trip to Denver, Colorado, to participate in Dare 2 Share’s Lead the Cause for inspiration and ministry. Unfortunately, the ministry did not tie the youth into the church very well, and when the lay volunteer was called to a full-time youth ministry position in Missouri, the group quickly dissipated. Harvest anticipates re-establishing a teen ministry.
(29 since 1893)
Last Five Pastors Tenure
Joe Wallace 1981 – 1984
David Lundholm 1985 – 1991
Jeffery Scherer 1992 – 2004
Rodney Ankrom 2006 – 2013
Doug Harvey 2015 - Present
Harvest is a “family” church, not because we are related, but because of the family feel. We love each other and are relationally connected. Harvest’s theological flavor would be best described as classical evangelical with a Baptist (non-Calvinist) flavor. We believe the Bible is God’s Word and that Jesus is the only way to salvation. The church has been careful to stand strong on the core biblical faith while allowing a diversity of views on less central issues.
47% male 53% female
04 - single adults 08 - widowed 15 - married couples 14 - youth
WORSHIP AT HARVEST
Harvest worships with a contemporary style of music, a simple order of worship, and Bible-centered preaching. The church has a premiere audio-visual setup that other churches would admire.
During 2019, before the pandemic, weekly attendance averaged 64 people. During the first nine months of 2021 the average weekly attendance is 45.
Harvest’s ministries to children and youth are currently reduced. During the viral restrictions, children’s Sunday School was discontinued. Harvest has resumed a Children’s Church program during the sermon time. A curriculum that includes worship, teaching, and activities accomplishes most of what a traditional children’s Sunday School program would. The challenge to staff both a Children’s Church and Sunday School led to the decision to focus on developing a quality Children’s Church.
Adult Sunday School has always been a positive ministry at Harvest. Prior to the pandemic there were three groups. The men met in an appropriately decorated “Man Cave” utility area for vigorous Bible study and discipleship. Two mixed groups used a quarterly guide or a video-based series. A three-man conversational “Learnin’ University” was broadcast on-line during three months of viral restrictions. The “Man Cave” and the standard curriculum class have now resumed normal operations.
Worship services continue to be live streamed via Facebook and are archived for later viewing.
MISSIONS AT HARVEST
A portion of Harvest’s annual budget is designated to support several local ministries:
*Alternatives Pregnancy Center located in Waterloo, Iowa, a pro life support organization for women.
*Midwest Mission Bible Training Center in Cresco, Iowa, a residential rehabilitation facility that helps individuals
overcome substance abuse and addiction.
*Royal Family Kids Camp in Sumner, Iowa, transforms communities by interrupting cycles of neglect, abuse, and
abandonment of children in the foster care system.
Non-budgeted annual additional support is also provided to:
*The Chickasaw County Social Concerns Committee.
*A Trunk or Treat alternative at Halloween - a ministry put on by Harvest.
*Military Bible Sticks through the outreach of the Faith Comes By Hearing organization.
*Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse.
Harvest’s staff consists of the full-time pastor and part-time, paid-by-the-hour secretary. Before the pandemic, the secretary worked about 24 hours per week, in the office on Tuesday through Friday from 10-4. During the pandemic she worked from home on an hourly basis. As Harvest emerged from the pandemic, she began coming in on Thursdays, and now is in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Harvest’s arrangement with her is a bit unusual. She brings her two daughters to work with her, and their grandmother comes and watches them at the church. Aside from her office times, she works her own hours. The church phone goes directly to her cell phone, so she maintains the church’s phone availability even when not in the office.