Many folks grew up with only one pastor, or at least one position of Pastor in their church. At Hope, we feature a preaching/teaching team.
Rev. Rufus Smith (Senior Pastor), preaches most often followed by Dr. Eli Morris (Senior Associate Pastor), and Dr. Craig Strickland (Founding Pastor) speaks as well.
In addition, Rev. Freddie Albaugh (Marriage and Family Pastor), Rev. Issac Curry (Single Adults), and Rev. Jessica Morris (Ministries) also make valuable weekend contributions. This rotation allows the congregation to benefit from different perspectives. Our preaching/teaching team puts biblical faith into easy modern language for application in your everyday life.
Preaching & Teaching Team
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 & Urban 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 also is the pastor of our unique Sunday evening service, The Stirring. An avid runner, Eli has logged over 24,000 miles and has run in all 50 states. Eli lives in East Memphis with his wife Patty and two cats. They have three adult children; Tommy (married to Jessica), Avery (married to Destiny), and Lindsay.