Friendship pastor garners statewide award for service
By Brian Koonce
November 1, 2005
SPRINGFIELD– Good things come in small packages. Such is the case when it comes to Friendship Baptist Church, Bowling Green, and its pastor.
Terry Hopkins was named “Small Church Pastor of the Year" by the Missouri Baptist Bi-vocational Ministers’ Association at the association’s banquet here Oct. 24 during the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual meeting. He was chosen by a panel of convention staff and directors of missions from across the state.
Jim Carter, ministerial services specialist for the MBC, commended all bi-vocational pastors for their service before presenting the award to Hopkins.
“You are the heroes in this state," he said. “I know it’s sometimes a lonely road and sometimes not a well-paid road, but you are serving the Kingdom."
There are approximately 1,000 bi-vocational pastors serving MBC-affiliated churches. Some 1,400 of the 2,075 MBC-affiliated churches have an average membership of 75.
Friendship averaged 27 in Sunday School and about 40 in Sunday morning worship services during 2004. Most impressive was the fact that the church had nine baptisms for the year, meaning that there was one baptism for every three Friendship members, a figure among the highest in the state.
“It’s been an honor serving as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing God use us," Hopkins said in accepting the award. “I’m here where I’m supposed to be. I do this because it’s a mandate on my heart, just like all of you. Even though you get discouraged and sometimes you wonder, you know God has called you."
Hopkins is a native of Nebraska and began his ministry in 1992 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Bowling Green. In addition to pastoring, he has served in several positions including moderator for Salt River Baptist Association and along with his wife, Kelly, and their six children, he has taken part in mission trips to South Dakota, Colorado, Alabama, Cancun and other parts Missouri.
Hopkins and his wife were involved in youth and children’s ministry before he answered the call to pastor. He began taking seminary extension classes through The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., and has earned his bachelor’s degree in ministry from International Seminary, Plymouth, Fla. All this while still working a non-ministry job, currently at American Botanical in Eolia.
“While I continue to work in a secular job, I attempt to share with those who I come into contact with about the saving grace of Christ," he said. “I prayerfully work with my wife to raise our children in the manner God desires. While failing in so many ways, I attempt to follow the Holy Spirit as I preach, teach and minister to those who will receive it."