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SoCal Native is World-Class Theologian

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By Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell, Tri-State Defender, Memphis, TN

[Reprinted by Permission]

Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins
Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins has lived and traveled all over the world - Scotland, England, Italy, Slovenia - as well as in large, metropolitan centers throughout the country.

Now, armed with an epic-caliber education and a wealth of experience in academia and practical ministry, he is carving out a place here in Memphis to serve and grow.

Jamal-Dominique Hopkins is an ordained elder in the Church of God in Christ and earned a Ph.D in Religions and Theology from the University of Manchester in Manchester, England. Currently, he serves as a professor of Bible and Theology at Crichton College. Dr. Hopkins will also teach a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at Memphis Theological Seminary this fall in an adjunct capacity.

Dr. Hopkins is the only African American scholar (known) trained in the Dead Sea Scrolls. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the topic, Sacrifice in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Khirbet Qumran, The Essenes and Cultic Spiritualization. He preaches, teaches, and lectures both nationally and internationally. Conferences in Edinburgh, Scotland; Washington, D.C.; Tempe, Ariz; Manchester, England, and Pasadena, Calif. are only a few of the many prominent lecture sites where he has been featured in a stellar career.

This summer's conference invitations will take him to Camoldoli, Italy, for the Fourth Enoch Seminar and Ljubljana, Slovenia, to the International Organization for Qumran Studies.

Dr. Hopkins also conducted a lecture and lead a tour of the actual scrolls in San Diego, Calif. last July. Among his many works, his essay entitled "Dead Sea Scrolls: Jerusalem Priesthood in the Scrolls" is due to be published in the Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus (ed. Craig Evans, New York: Routledge) in 2008.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the initial Dead Sea Scrolls discovery.

Dr. Hopkins is a native of Southern California; he was born in Los Angeles and raised in Pasadena. A former child entertainer, he has acted in several theater, film and video productions. He acted alongside Malcolm Jamal Warner (of the Cosby Show) in the 1983 production, Little People, at the Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

He also worked as an on-air radio show co-host at KMAX Gospel Radio Station. After graduating from high school, Hopkins got involved in the ministry and received his barber's licensed. He ran his own barber shop (Classic III) for seven years while attending the local community college.

In 1993, he earned an Associates of Arts degree from Pasadena City College. Over the course of that same year, he was licensed as a minister in the Church of God in Christ and moved to Washington, D. C. to attend Howard University, graduating cum laude in 1995, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV/Film Production with a theater minor. After graduation, Dr. Hopkins worked as an inner-city youth Bible study leader and videographer for the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville. He was part of a traveling team which ministered in various cities throughout the south and east coast.

In 1995, Dr. Hopkins became the religious editor of the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal Newspaper and enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary, also in Pasadena. At Fuller, he went on to earn his Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies and Theology in 1997.

While at Fuller, he became the second president of the African-American Seminarian Association, and was listed in "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges." After graduating from Fuller Seminary, he was honored with the "Outstanding Alumni Award" from the Association of Black Employees at Pasadena City College and subsequently asked to join the Pasadena City College President's African American Advisory Committee.

In the fall of 2000, Dr. Hopkins and his wife moved to Manchester, England with their newly born son, Joshua, where he pursued doctoral studies at the University of Manchester. During this time, he served as an associate minister at Moss Lane Church of God of Prophesy in Manchester and sat on the board of directors of the Church's Outreach Project.

Dr. Hopkins has taught in the public school system in California, as well as at various colleges and universities, which include: Pasadena City College, California Institute of Technology, California State University at Los Angeles, Memphis Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University. An almost endless array of awards and accolades over the years has greatly enhanced this credentialed theologian.

Dr. Hopkins presently serves as the Minister of Christian Education and the New Servant's Ministry at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church where Dr. Frank A. Thomas is senior pastor.

He is the son of Pasadena Journal publishers Joe and Ruthie Hopkins.

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