Preaching & Teaching Team at Hope Church • Team of Pastors

Preaching & Teaching Team

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.

Craig Strickland

Founding Pastor

Preaching & Teaching Team

Dr. Craig Strickland began Hope in 1988 in a living room with eight original members. Hope has reached out to people and churches of all denominations and faith communities with a message filled with hope and guided by a commitment to servant-leadership at every level. Today, Hope welcomes over 7000 members and visitors every weekend. Craig graduated from Messick High School. After high school, he graduated from Memphis State University and received both his Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He was the founding member and Chairman of the Board of The Memphis Leadership Foundation and has served on numerous committees involving church growth. He is currently Chaplain of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, The Germantown Police Department and Chief Chaplain of the Tennessee Public Safety Network. Craig lives in Germantown with his wife, Lee, and their two dogs, Barklee & Charlee. They have three adult children; Emily (married to Scott), Tucker, and Taylor (married to Jessica), and two grandchildren, Scottie and West.