New Pastor to Lead Hopewell United Methodist Church


A new pastor has been chosen to lead the Hopewell United Methodist Church after the retirement of the longtime minister.

Kate Hillis, a native of upstate New York, will succeed the Rev. Ken Robinson, who retired from the church in June after 24 years of service in Hopewell and nearly 40 years in ministry.

Hillis will begin her new post the first Sunday in July. One of her top goals is to build connections and bridges with the Hopewell area community.

“The church can be a place that serves as a resource for its surrounding community, where all people feel welcome and cared for,” Hillis said. “We share the love of Christ, not just in what we say, but in our actions.”

Hillis said the congregation is very passionate about serving the community.

“Hopewell United Methodist Church has a lot to offer — the First Friday Open Mic nights, the passion our people have for the arts, and even our church kitchen are all gifts we have been given,” she said. “It’s our responsibility to use them to glorify God and take care of others.”

Her areas of interest include the arts, gardening, cooking and ministry opportunities related to food and nutrition.

“I think that there is a lot that gardening and agriculture can teach us about the Christian faith. Scripture tells us that all of creation came alive when God breathed life into the soil. We are all made of the same stuff and were created to be dependent upon one another,” she said.

Hillis has spent the last seven years doing ministry in various settings in Central New Jersey. She has served as senior pastor at the Lumberton United Methodist Church, director of youth and children’s ministries at the Kingston United Methodist Church, and as a chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religion and youth ministry from Houghton College in New York and a master’s of divinity and master’s in Christian education from Princeton Theological Seminary.

She is married to Wren Hillis, a Drew Theological Seminary student who is also pursuing ordained ministry.

For more information about the Hopewell United Methodist Church, visit

Hillis with the transition team at the Hopewell United Methodist Church.
Hillis with the transition team at the Hopewell United Methodist Church.