Disciples News Service

Rev. Dr. Chris Hobgood, former GMP, passes

The Rev. Dr. William Chris Hobgood, former general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) passed into new life in Christ May 31, 2019. Hobgood was general minister and president from October 2003 to July 2005.

In addition to his work in the general Church, Hobgood was regional minister in Arkansas and the Capital Area and most recently pastor of Bethany Beach Christian Church in Delaware. The author of books such as Welcoming Resistance: A Path to Faithful Ministry, Once and Future Pastor, and Born Apart, Becoming One: Disciples Defeating Racism, Hobgood was a tireless voice speaking up against racism, making that a theme of his term as general minister and president.

“We were so blessed to have him as a leader in our Church. I was blessed to be in pro-reconciliation/anti-racism training with him several times,” said current general minister and president, Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens. “His leadership in a transitional time called us to faithfulness in our witness as a pro-reconciling anti-racist Church.”

Hobgood’s daughter, Dr. Laura Hobgood, said “His anti-racism and justice work was always at the heart of his ministry.” She noted his long affiliation with the Disciples Center for Public Witness as well as the mission trips his congregation took to assist with rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

Born in July of 1936 in Lotumbe in what was then the Republic of Zaire, Hobgood was the son of missionaries. He received his bachelor’s degree from Transylvania College (now University) and his divinity degree from the College of the Bible (now Lexington Theological Seminary) while serving several Kentucky congregations in the late 1950s. He earned his doctor of ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1982.

5 Responses to “Rev. Dr. Chris Hobgood, former GMP, passes”

  1. Don Wells, Jr.:

    Rev. Hobgood was a wonderful servant of the Lord and our Wells family knew him from his time as pastor of First Christian Church of Alexandria, VA. I remember his calming influence during racial tension in Alexandria around the time of the MLK Jr. riots in Wash. DC in 1968 and with school busing & the full integration of T.C. Williams H.S. (“Remember the Titans”). Rev. Hobgood had “street credibility” among the youth because he grew up in Africa. Chris will be missed her but welcomed in Heaven!

  2. Gary Pearson:

    Just a correction. In 1936 the Congo was known as the Belgian Congo. Independence did not come until after World War 2.

  3. Terry E. Foland:

    I knew Chris best as a part-time consultant with The Alban Institute when I was Director of Consulting, Education and Training for Alban. He was a great colleague and friend. I also appreciated his books. May he have god’s richest blessings in the Kingdom beyond this life.

  4. William McCutchen:

    I am grateful for the life and ministry of Chris.

  5. Robert P Kennel:

    Chris was such a good man and servant of the Lord. Knew him well in the Capital Area, and my wife Elaine was even on the search committee when he became Regional Minister. We know Parkinson’s well with Elaine in her 11th year but doing as well as could be expected. Chris and I were the same age,
    Bless Chris and his family !!