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Hopa, Ephraim Langton Mzamo
d. 1999
Ethiopian Orthodox Church of South Africa / Order of Ethiopia
South Africa

Hopa was trained for ordination at St. Bede's College, Umtata, in 1938. He was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church in 1940, and priest in 1943. He was missioner in the Order of Ethiopia at St. Barnabas, East London 1946-1955, and at Uitenhage 1955-1962. He moved to Senaoane in the Diocese of Johannesburg 1963-1970. In 1970 we was elected Provincial of the Order of Ethiopia, which was in association with the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (Crockfords 1982).

In 1979 the Provincial Synod of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (Anglican) agreed that a bishop could be consecrated for the Order of Ethiopia, but when the elective assembly met no candidate had a sufficient majority. The synod of bishops of the CPSA then appointed the Rev. Siqibo Dwane, a grandson of the founder, to be the first bishop of the Order of Ethiopia. Many members of the order were dissatisfied with this, since Dwane himself had never been a member of the Order, and they disagreed with his theology.

In 1983 Hopa led a group that broke from the Order of Ethiopia and united with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Ethiopian Archbishop of New York came to South Africa and ordained several priests and deacons. They were hampered, however, by a lack of theological training, but this was remedied when, in the 1990s, there was considerable Ethiopian immigration to South Africa, and some of the immigrants provided help in teaching. Hopa therefore fulfilled one of the original goals of the Ethiopian movement, 90 years after it had started.

Stephen Hayes



Bibliography:

Interview: Stephen Hayes with Rev. Diliza Valisa, July 1997.
Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1982.


This article is generated by the Database of African Church Leaders, which is part of the Database of African Independent Churches maintained by Stephen Hayes. All rights reserved.