Pastor Edward Hopkins
Pastor Hopkins was born in Richmond in 1956. His parents took him to be baptized at the Ginter Park Methodist Church. He does not remember the event, but word is that he cried and screamed through the entire service until the pastor told his parents to take him out of the sanctuary. When he was two years old, they moved to a suburb north of Philadelphia called Jenkintown. His parents joined the Jenkintown Methodist Church and some of his earliest memories are from that church. He remembers the Sunday school classroom and a teacher who told great stories, a nursery worker who scared him, and sitting in the sanctuary for the first time listening to his dad's amazing baritone voice in the choir. They went to church every Sunday without fail. He remembers his folks working with the MYF, serving on various committees, and taking him to downtown Philadelphia on many occasions where they ministered to the needs of the urban poor.
They moved to Roanoke County when he was seven and they joined Windsor Hills Methodist. he was confirmed at that church when he was eleven. They transferred to Woodlawn Methodist in 1967 and, once again, became immersed in the life of that church. He led the youth group my senior year in high school.
He graduated from Cave Spring High School in 1974 and entered the College of William and Mary. Early on, he was invited to attend events at the Wesley Foundation on the W&M campus and he discovered it to be an oasis. He quickly grew close to the Campus Minister and the other Wesley participants, and even roomed at the Wesley Foundation house from 1976 to 1979.
He developed a special fondness for a sophomore named Janet Lynn Pridgen, a young woman who had grown up on a beef cattle farm in Nottoway County. She graduated from William and Mary with a double major in Chemistry and History in June 1977 and moved to Charleston, South Carolina to work for a chemical company.
In December 1977, he was diagnosed with Adult Onset Hydrocephalus. He had a ventriculoatrial shunt installed in my brain in December, and then revised in March, 1978. His condition deteriorated steadily until he was admitted to UVa hospital in August. He had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt installed on the other side of his brain and he spent three more months in the hospital, missing a year of school. Following physical, occupational, and speech therapies, he graduated with a B.A. in Fine Art from W&M in 1979.
He moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to be near Janet and he found a job driving a truck for the Pet Dairy Company delivering ice cream to grocery stores. During this uncomfortable period, he felt God's call to preach.
He married Janet Lynn Pridgen on May 25, 1980 and entered the Duke Divinity School in September. He was ordained a Deacon in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1982, graduated from Duke in 1983, and he was ordained an Elder in 1985.
He was appointed to serve as the associate pastor of First UMC Martinsville in 1983, the pastor of Scottsville UMC in Scottsville in 1986, the pastor of Forest UMC in Forest in 1991, and the pastor of Hinton Avenue UMC in Charlottesville in 1993. In 2009, he was granted an Episcopal appointment to a Sabbatical Leave. During this hiatus, he waited tables at Aromas Mediterranean Restaurant and worked as a Census Enumerator in Charlottesville. He was appointed to serve as the pastor of Wellspring UMC in Williamsburg in 2010.
Janet worked for PVCC in Charlottesville for more than seventeen years as the Chemistry Laboratory Manager. She recently took a similar position at the College of William and Mary.
Pastor Hopkins is an avid long-distance bicyclist, a devoted blue grass/folksy rhythm guitar player, and he served as the Chaplain for the Charlottesville Police Department for fifteen years.