Our Story

The story of Oikos Church is just beginning, but here’s a bit of the backstory. 

In the early months of the pandemic in 2020, and after more than 15 years of ministry in established churches, Smith and Kelsey Hopkins discerned that God was calling them to begin training and preparing for church planting. For them, this was a burden the Lord planted in their hearts many years earlier. But in the midst of the pandemic, they saw a great need arise and noticed God on the move. They wanted to be ready for the opportunity on the other side of the disruption.

 

Despite the barriers of the pandemic, the Lord opened up door after door making it clear that he was ready for them to move. He opened doors for them to be trained in a cohort all their own by Onward Church Planting and to partner with Passion for Planting. The Lord also opened a door for a partnership with Highland Church of Christ (Memphis, TN), the Sending Church for Oikos. 

In May 2021, the initial Oikos Direction Team was formed and began meeting weekly in the Hopkins’ home. For several months they gathered for shared meals, prayer, planning, and discipleship.

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In the Fall of 2021, the Oikos Launch Team was organized and commissioned. The Lord opened a door for Oikos to be in The Gathering Place (3472 Plaza Ave #101), where Oikos Church will launch on January 23, 2022. 

The launch of Oikos Church is an answer to prayer, and, in every step of this journey, the Lord has done far more abundantly than we asked or imagined. These early months have helped to shape the culture of Oikos in significant ways. Oikos has grown out of a home and a shared table and that remains at the heart of who we are. We see the importance of shared tables, hospitality, and experiencing the church as God’s family. We are a church born out of discipleship and church planting, and we are praying to multiply this DNA in new plants in Memphis, to the ends of the earth.

Meet the Planters

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Smith and Kelsey Hopkins

Smith Hopkins serves as the Lead Planter for Oikos Church. He grew up in Rio Vista, TX, a small rural community south of DFW. He migrated to West TN to attend Freed-Hardeman University for ministry training. There he met Kelsey (Nickleson). They married and moved to Memphis in 2008. Together they now have three children—Annie (8), Fletcher (5), and Evie Bell (3). He holds a Master of Divinity from Harding School of Theology and a B.A. in Bible and Philosophy from FHU. He has ministered in churches of Christ in West TN for over 15 years in a variety of roles—young adults, education, and preaching. 

 

Kelsey Hopkins shares the vision for planting. She was born and raised in Memphis. She was baptized at the Highland St. Church of Christ and went to Harding Academy of Memphis. She holds her B.S. in Psychology from Freed-Hardeman University and a B.S. in Nursing from Union University. She served as an RN for several years in the ICU at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She is gifted with creativity and design, gifts she uses in family discipleship as well as entrepreneurial home renovation.

 

In Fall 2020, they completed a church planting assessment with Passion for Planting and received confirmation to pursue this work. Passion for Planting has also provided project management services, up to launch. In May 2021, Smith and Kelsey completed training with Onward Church Planting. Onward also provides them with ongoing coaching services. Highland Church of Christ (Memphis, TN) serves as the Sending Church for Oikos. Smith serves under the oversight of the Oikos Governance Team, which functions as the overseeing board of Oikos, until elders are appointed.

Why plant a church?
Most objections underappreciate the need for and the power of planting new churches. "Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven."