Pastor Dier V. Hopkins Sr.
New Direction Ministries
3307 N. Fulton Ave. · Hapeville, GA 30354 · (678)772-0613
An ‘Old Soul’ finds New Direction
Confidently, he shares the truth in an unembellished manner that makes it easy to listen. As he recounts memories and shares stories about his journey to ministry, he moves between youth and eldership with the ease of what our people call “an old soul.” He is Pastor Dier Hopkins, native of Atlanta, Georgia and founder of New Direction Ministries now located in Hapeville, Georgia. With zeal and the strength of the ministry’s mission within him, he reaffirms his commitment “to win souls.”
The fourth of his parents’ five children, Dier Hopkins was born June 9, 1971. After years seeking acceptance among the wrong element, he recalls his mother’s words to him, “God already showed me who you are. And that is not who you are.” Hopkins’ life took a turn when Pastor Dreyfus C. Smith led him from the corner to the ministry. Hopkins was licensed in 1993 and ordained in 1997.
On May 17, 1999, Pastor Hopkins founded New Direction Ministries at Murray Brothers Funeral Home in Downtown Atlanta, with $60.00 and one member, his wife Carrie L. Hopkins. The couple had expected more seed money, but they didn’t wait on it. The ministry’s philosophy is rooted in the vision of sharing God’s word while seeking out those ‘who are considered the least and the hopeless.’ “There is nothing that people can do that can make God not love them,” Pastor Hopkins advises.
New Direction has been successful at reaching out to larger audiences with Pastor Hopkins’ televised appearances such as preaching on TBN in Montgomery, AL and a feature in the June 2006 issue of Charisma Magazine. The outreach and gang prevention ministries are just two examples of New Direction Ministries’ commitment to meeting the needs of its congregation and surrounding community.
Pastor Hopkins’ patented Parking Lot Service is one of his pioneering ideas that call out to people who might not feel welcome in church. “So many people are hurting in church. I know because I’ve sat in church and hurt. I’m going out there (to the parking lot) to tell people, ‘If you don’t want to come in this building, then we’ll come out there.”
The warmth of New Direction Ministries feels like family, and it should. Pastor and Mrs. Hopkins’ two children Courtney and DJ are members. Pastor Hopkins’ mother and three of his siblings are also very involved in moving the ministry forward. The congregation is active, supportive and growing. “Not a Sunday goes by that I don’t tell them that I love them,” says Pastor Hopkins who speaks candidly about God’s instruction to him to treat His (God’s) people right.
New Direction Ministries has found its new home in a quaint church edifice in the heart of Hapeville. The move to a new site was, within itself, an opportunity for spiritual growth that reminds Pastor Hopkins, now 39, of where he once fell and who picked him up. “Through everything God has brought me, and he let me go through it to get me here.”