Hopkins, John (1861-1908)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Aaron Smith

The Canterbury and Whitstable Circuit has suffered a great loss in the death of Bro. John Hopkins, of Stelling Minnis. Brother Hopkins was born at Lower Hardres in February, 1861, and when about twenty years of age was converted, while Mr. Dykes was conducting evangelistic services. He manifested such untiring zeal and aptitude that a few years later he was called to be a local preacher.

In that capacity he served the interests of the Kingdom for twenty-one years and was also a very efficient class leader. He was powerful in prayer and had a most attractive personality. The most striking feature in his life was his unquenchable joyousness, so much so that he was widely known as “Happy John.” This “joy unspeakable” he attributed entirely to his faith in Christ.

For months before the end came it was well known to him what the issue of his disease would be, but what in our human speech we call death, was to him but “the covered way which opens into light.” He talked about his departure as though he was going on a holiday. He has left a bright and helpful influence— “he being dead yet speaketh,” and we may say of him as Whittier did of Follen:

“Thou livest—not in vain
Hath thy fine spirit meekly borne
The burthen of life’s cross of pain,
And the thorned crown of suffering worn.
Less dreary seems the untried way
Since thou hast left thy footprints there,
And beams of mournful beauty play
Round the sad angel’s sable hair.”

Family

John was born in February 1861 at Lower Hardres, Kent, to parents Thomas, a farm labourer, and Elizabeth

John also worked the land.

He married Eliza Maria Croucher (abt1855-1923) on 19 September 1886 at Elham, Kent.

John died on 28 July 1908 at Mead Farm, Stelling Minnis, Kent.

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908/915

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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