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Preaching & Teaching Team

Most people likely grew up with only one pastor in their church, at Hope we feature a Preaching & Teaching team allowing the congregation to experience different perspectives of God's word. Our pastors not only challenge us week-to-week to live more like Christ, they also walk us through Scripture with modern-day language and easy application for our everyday life.

Our Preaching & Teaching team consists of Rev. Rufus Smith (Senior Pastor), Dr. Eli Morris (Senior Associate Pastor), Chad Johnson (Assistant Pastor, Community Engagement), Rev. Hannah Attaway (Assistant Pastor, Women's Ministry), and Rev. Vincent Joplin (Assistant Pastor, Spiritual Formation).

Rev. Rufus Smith

Senior Pastor

Rev. Rufus Smith, IV is the Senior Pastor of Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Memphis, Tennessee, a mega Presbyterian congregation. He joined Hope in September 2010 as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and, in October of 2013, was elected as Senior Pastor to succeed the Founding Pastor of 25 years, Dr. Richard Craig Strickland. Over the past 8 years, Hope EPC has transitioned from a pre-dominantly Caucasian to a multi-ethnic church in the deep south, with 30% of members being people of color. In 2016, he Founded the Memphis Christian Pastor’s Network (MCPN) an ethnically & denominationally diverse clergy-only network that “bridges the trust-gap” between pastors via candid conversation, supplication, and social interaction—outside of church walls.

Dr. Eli Morris

Senior Associate Pastor

A lifelong resident of Memphis, Eli graduated from Overton High School followed by his B.S. from Memphis State. Eli received his Master of Divinity with honors from Memphis Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Eli’s concern for the poor has been a hallmark of his work at Hope. His current role at Hope as the Senior Associate & Local Ministry Pastor finds him each and every day engaging with and ministering to those who live with the challenges of poverty. He serves on the boards of STREETS Ministry, Oasis of Hope, Luke 4:18 Ministries, MIFA Emergency Services and is the Chaplain with the FBI Memphis Division. Eli is also the pastor of our unique Sunday evening service, The Stirring.

Chad johnson

Assistant Pastor, Community Engagement

Chad has been a part of the Hope Church family for more than 15 years. Throughout his tenure at Hope, Chad has served as the Hope 4 Kids’ Pastor working alongside infants-5th grade students and their families and Middle School Pastor serving students in the many changes and challenges they go through. These ministry opportunities and more have prepared Pastor Chad to relate the stories of Christ and his Word within all aspects of our lives. No matter where you find yourself, you can always count on Chad for an encouraging word, a listening ear and a funny story to help paint a clearer picture of God’s love for us. Chad is married to his wife, Julie, they have three children that keep them on the go while constantly reminding them to always have fun. Chad graduated with his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science (Pre-PT) w/ a minor in Church ministry and missions from Samford University and later continued his education with receiving a Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.

Rev. Hannah Attaway

Assistant Pastor, Women's Ministry

Hannah graduated from Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, with a Master of Divinity in April of 2022, where she earned the James Massey Student Preaching Award. Before coming to Hope, Hannah served as Preministerial Scholars Program Coordinator at Samford University, helping prepare students to serve in the local church and parachurch ministry after college. Prior to that, Hannah served as a church planter and women’s ministry leader in New York State for nine years. Hannah has a heart for raising up women leaders in the local church and equipping them to fulfill the unique and wonderful callings God has placed on their lives.

Rev. Vincent Joplin

Assistant Pastor, Spiritual Formation

Rev. Vincent E. H. Joplin is a native of Willingboro, NJ by way of Texas. In 1996 he moved to Memphis, Tn enrolling in LeMoyne-Owen College majoring in Humanities with a concentration in Religion and Sacred music. He gave his life to Christ on campus and accepted the call to ministry as well. This led him to Young Life and Saint Andrew A.M.E Church. He was licensed to ministry by Pastor Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson and later ordained by his father Dr. Charles Joplin, Pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church. Since that time he has led numerous initiatives as part of various churches including Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Silver Spring, MD, St. Andrew A.M.E. Church, Harvest Church Memphis, and Delivering Word Bible Church. He and his wife, Larren, have two daughters; Renee and Elizabeth. Rev. Joplin holds a Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry from Victory University and a Master of Christian Studies from Union University.