Rufus Smith Elected as New Senior Pastor at Hope Church, Memphis, TN


On the weekend of October 26 and 27, the Congregation of Hope Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, elected Rev. Rufus Smith, IV as its new Senior Pastor. Dr. R. Craig Strickland will maintain a very active and visible role within the church as a Teaching Elder and “Founding Pastor.”

Rev. Smith is eager to continue Hope’s mission of “embracing those who may have given up on church or even given up on God.” That mission includes creating a welcoming environment for Memphians of every ethnicity, age and stage in their life, with a particular emphasis on Smith’s passion for developing and deploying the next generation.

Rufus has been an ordained EPC Teaching Elder for 15 years. He is a native of Houston, Texas, and joined the Hope staff in 2010, although he has had very close ties with Strickland and Dr. Eli Morris, III since 1998. His previous roles have included serving as Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge EPC in Houston, Executive Director of City of Refuge’s community development center called “The Forge for Families,” Chairman of the EPC’s Urban Ministry Network and also as Chaplain for the NBA team, the Houston Rockets.

Associate Pastor Eli Morris will continue leading from the second chair and overseeing Hope’s Sunday evening service, The Stirring, and Hope’s urban ministries.

Smith was installed into his new role as Senior Pastor during the five weekend worship hours of November 16 and 17. For more information, read the full press release or visit

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