Citizen of the Year 2019 Award
Recognizes many years of unselfish service to Henry County, above and beyond excellence in one’s own profession, business, service or enterprise. The recipient must be of the highest moral and ethical character, well respected in the community, and outstanding in his or her commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life for Henry County citizens.
Frankie Hopper, U.S. Army (Ret.), perfectly exemplifies and epitomizes the virtues of outstanding citizenship and has gone over and above the call of simply volunteering his time and life serving others throughout our community. Frankie's unwavering and passionate work with the homeless and disenfranchised in the Henry County community has spanned nearly 20 years and earned him the prestigious Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Holiday Heroes in 2012 for his incredible dedication and service to those in need across the Henry County landscape. Bo Emerson, the reporter for the AJC, captured the essence of this hero of a man, placed among us after a long, distinguished military career, which included service in Vietnam and difficult assignments all over the world for 20 years. When Frankie and his wife Linda decided to retire from the Army after 33 moves, he says that "the Lord brought them here and planted them at Jodeco United Methodist Church and put him in the food pantry." Providing for the needs of the poor and underserved has always been his personal passion and calling. Soon after connecting with their food pantry, Frankie became a powerful advocate and led the food pantry to unbelievable and ever-evolving heights in service to the hungry and those in need of love, kindness, and assistance. No mission is ever considered too great or too difficult for Frankie! Even as he lost the ability to walk upright, he fought his way back, and through the constant pain and with the assistance of his cane is still serving others today. With much prayer and collaboration, church leaders launched a new, ecumenical ministry called H3 (Help, Heal, Hope). The first effort dealt with hunger via hot meal service and later expanded to offer health screenings, housing opportunities through Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing, as well as many other community resources designed to restore hope and relieve suffering and destitution for our poorest county residents and transients. The H3 Ministry has now evolved into a total "outreach only" ministry, which was the original goal and intent of H3. Frankie Hopper is the human glue that keeps all of this connected, motivated to serve and in step with the vision, purpose, and mission of H3.