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Pastor in Champion retiring after 40 years

Hopkins served last 26 years at local church

CHAMPION — Champion Christian Church will mark the retirement of its longtime pastor, the Rev. Kenneth E. Hopkins Jr., as he concludes a 40-year career in ministry and community service.

A special worship service recognizing his dedication to the church and the community is set for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 31, at the church, 151 Center St. W. A reception will follow.

Hopkins has served Champion Christian Church as pastor for 26 years. Under his leadership, the church celebrated 125 years in 2018 with the opening of the Disciple Center to accommodate several ministry and community groups, including its youth group.

Church officials said Hopkins also played a role in the growth and success of numerous outreach ministries, including Wonder Zone Childcare and Preschool, the church’s Feeding Ministry, Boy Scout Troop 25 and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Previously, Hopkins’ four decades in ministry included pastorates at Freedom Christian Church in Eubank, Kentucky, Central Christian Church in Marietta and Norwood Christian Church in Norwood.

Hopkins holds a Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary and earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Youngstown State University.

Also a graduate of the Beeson Institute for Advanced Church Leadership, he has served as Ohio Regional Evangelism chairperson for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Champion congregation has received several regional awards for growth. He has served as a camp counselor and assistant camp director for the Disciples of Christ Ohio Regional Church camping ministries.

In the community, he recently was recognized by the Champion Rotary as Senior Citizen of the Year, and he has served as co-chair of the Champion Pride Council.

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