Simplicity is a powerful thing.
At Hope Community, we encourage a simple rhythm
of following God that leads to real transformation.
That rhythm is Up, In and Out.
We want to grow UP in worship to God,
IN through Christ-centered community
and OUT in mission to our neighbors and the world.

Our Vision

Our Purpose: To Worship God.
"Worship is meant to awaken us so we actually live differently.” Our purpose in life is to glorify and enjoy God forever.Glorifying God is critical to forming our souls and blessing our community.

Our Mission: To Make Disciples.
This mission given by Jesus was to make disciples by going, baptizing and teaching (Matt.28). “Hope Community will not try to improve upon this powerful mission statement from Jesus; we will simply respond to it.” If we will simply be the church we will be a blessing to Wilmington and beyond.

Our Vision: To grow UP in worship, IN through authentic community and OUT in mission.
This growth is not just about us. Our heart is to help those who feel disconnected in faith to reconnect to God through worship, community and mission.

Hope Staff

Nate Stratman: Pastor


For the past 17 years Nate has been in ministry which is a bit ironic for someone who never wanted to be involved in church in the first place. He met his wife Kim here in Wilmington while she was a teacher and Nate was a youth pastor at a local church. They have two lively daughters, Ruthie (10) and Ellie (6).

The Stratman family returned to Wilmington in August of 2016 to start Hope Community from First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs where Nate was one of the pastors on staff. Nate is a graduate from University of Arkansas (Go Hogs) and received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Seminary.

The greatest joy in ministry for Nate is helping others connect or reconnect to God through worship, community and serving others. He loves getting to know people over coffee or a meal so please contact him if you are interested.

Contact Nate (click here)

Blake Mueses: Ministry Administrator


Blake Edwards Mueses grew up in Wilmington, NC and is a proud graduate of New Hanover High School and then Meredith College where she earned a degree in Business Administration and International Business.

She joined the Peace Corps and served as a Community Economic Development Volunteer in rural Dominican Republic where she met her husband Juan. They moved back to Blake’s hometown in September 2016 and are attending Hope Community. They have one son, Jax, who was born June 24, 2018.

The best way to describe Blake’s role (which is 20hrs a week) is that she will be Hope’s Air Traffic Controller. Blake will help communicate, organize and connect people to each other and the mission of Hope Community.

Contact Blake (click here) 

Eric Metts: Worship Coordinator


Eric Metts is a native of Wilmington, a New Hanover High School graduate and graduated from Cape Fear Community College in 2014 with a degree in business. banking and finance.

He also married in 2014 to his wife Brittani. Eric has been a working professional musician since the age of 14 in the region playing in a variety of venues and local churches. Eric plays over 200 shows a year as a solo acoustic act but also with his band Seneca Guns and a duo acoustic act.

As the worship coordinator at Hope Community, Eric works behind the scenes to schedule musicians and music each week for worship.

Katie Ridd


Katie is a native of Northern Virginia, but has adapted well to the surf and sun lifestyle Wilmington has to offer.  When she's not studying (Fuller Seminary) or assisting Nate at Hope, she's perfecting her Chemex pour over and Iron(wo)man training.  Katie's list of major spiritual influences include C.S. Lewis and Father Gregory Boyle.  Her dream is to continue to grow in her faith and follow the 'still small voice' wherever it leads.  Katie considers it a great honor to serve alongside Nate, Blake, and Eric (as well as the elders) as they listen for God's promptings and position the church to lean in.  Contact Katie (Click Here)

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Transitional Leadership Team: When it comes to planting a church, nobody sits on the bench! The transitional leadership team are just a few of the many who work hard to make Hope happen. This team is (from left to right) Rev. Nate Stratman, Henry Hawthorne III, Kathy Risley, Will Cameron and not pictured is Tommy Mann. This team is tasked with having spiritual oversight of Hope Community, ensuring we are growing up, in and out while reaching those who are disconnected from the faith and local church.