John Hopkins

Bishop John Hopkins


United States

North Central Jurisdiction


Bishop John Hopkins is a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church.

He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and his childhood was spent in Montgomery, Houston, Atlanta and Ft. Wayne. After marrying Elaine M. Smithson in 1964, he attended Indiana University, receiving a B.A. with Honors in Psychology. He graduated from Yale Divinity School and was selected for the two-year Wheelock Residency at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College where he practiced hospital, campus and parish ministry. During this residency, he served as the Protestant Chaplain at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. He was ordained deacon and elder in the North Indiana Conference.

After serving a two-point charge in LaPorte, Indiana, John was appointed to be campus minister and Wesley Foundation Director at Ball State University. He later became Director of the Council on Ministries in North Indiana and then was appointed in South Indiana as Senior Pastor at The Methodist Temple in Evansville. He was elected to the episcopacy in July 1996 at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference and assigned to the Minnesota Area for eight years. In September 2004, Bishop Hopkins was assigned to the Ohio East Area.

Bishop Hopkins was appointed by the Council of Bishops to serve as Chair of the Connectional Table which provides a forum for the understanding and implementation of the vision, mission, and ministries of the global church. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops and as a member of the United Methodist Publishing House board. Previously, he served on the General Council on Ministries and the Committee for the Advance for Christ and His Church.

Bishop Hopkins was instrumental in the formation of Operation Classroom in Sierra Leone and Liberia. His mission travel has also included Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Korea, China, Japan, and Mexico. He enjoys tennis, skiing, guitar and technology.

Elaine and John have three sons, Nathan, Zachary and Benjamin.