Christopher Hopper was born April 25, 1979 in Ithaca, NY to Peter and Nina Hopper. Peter is a former session drummer and producer for April & Blackwood Records, Columbia Records, AireFire Records, and is presently head of Sprig Music. His credits for engineering and mixing include Clint Black, The Judds, Janis Joplin, Phil Keaggy, and over 6,000 record albums to his credit. Nina attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, and is a noted song writer, vocal performer and worship leader. Christopher has two sisters, Natalie (1986) and Hillary (1989).
Growing up in both Psalm of Life Studios and MasterView SoundCrafts Recording Studios in Freeville, NY, Christopher’s early musical talents secured him a position as a paid studio drummer at age 10. He toured and produced alongside his father throughout his teenage years, and worked on several albums for hire. His failed audition as drummer for Christian rock band High Impact spurred him to start two of his own bands, In-Fo-Red and Rehma, where he served as drummer. Before long, Christopher became the frontman of Rehma as his gifts as a guitarist, pianist and songwriter emerged. At age 19, he recorded and co-produced his own first full-length album, Don’t Let Me Go (AireFire Records, 1999) under his father’s label, AireFire Records. The release of the album began his touring music career with invitations in Europe, Africa and the US. Band members included drummer Brian Magnosi, guitarist Steve Swartz, and bassist Chris Martin.
Because Peter and Nina were also active pastors, now for over 40 years, Christopher grew up preaching and leading worship in the church, presenting his first sermon at age 11 at Covenant Love Community Church in Freeville, NY. He eventually took over the youth pastor vacancy of his father’s church, Reach Out For Christ Church, at age 17, and was ordained by both Good News World Outreach Inc. and Reach Out For Christ Church Inc. at age 23.
In the summer of 2001, Christopher formed a trio consisting of bassist Parker “Chip” Grinnell and drummer Jeff Haschmann, and recorded a second studio album, this time under the name Christopher Hopper n Money For The Poor. The album, Please Come In (AireFire Records, 2002) spurred a 26-state national tour. The roster included mixing engineer Jon Dayton and tour manager Michael Copt, while the album included 22 special guest artists, including pianist and choir director Denis Johnson Jr., and Dutch master drummer Greg Pantophlet.
Later in 2002, Christopher would go back in the studio with sessions musicians for a third studio project, only this time he would dedicate the entire project to worship. Vertical: The Worship Project (AireFire Records, 2003), though arguably the least known of his work, would turn a corner for Christopher as he began to find his niche in leading worship. Session players included keyboardists Keith Hill, drummer Will Hanson, and bassist Steven Santana.
With a growing fan base of teenagers and college students, Christopher was approached to lead worship for the Joshua Revolution Youth Conference in Buffalo, NY for their December 2002 event. The event was recorded live and the result was his best selling record to date, Christopher Hopper Live! (AireFire Records). Will Hanson, Denis Johnson Jr., Steven Santana and vocalists Becca Johnson and Jennifer Nesbitt would all accompany Christopher on this live project.
Immediately following the success of the album, tour demands and speaking engagements in Europe opened another door: a worship record in a foreign language. In January of 2003, Christopher went into the studio for his fifth project, this time all in French. Pour Toi (AireFire Records) was released in France, Switzerland and Africa.
It was also in 2003 that Christopher proposed to singer Jennifer (Nesbitt) Hopper. Jennifer is a singer, songwriter and pianist, as well as a noted blogger and photographer. Falling For You (AireFire Records, 2003) was recorded as a duet album, released on their wedding day, December 20, marking for three album releases in one year.
Busy with married life, constant touring and conference speaking, Christopher’s next album would not be recorded until late 2004—a second live recording with Joshua Revolution, this time at HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY. Dialed In (AireFire Records, 2005) would be his first-two disc set and another hallmark in his public ministry. Additional vocalists included Mariely Santana, Nanette Soler and recording artist Moe Badger.
In 2005, Christopher and Jennifer put down roots in the 1,000 Islands to accept the youth pastor position at New Life Christian Church, Watertown, NY. The move included the one-time running of the Awakening Youth Conference. He released his eighth album, this time as the Christopher Hopper Band, entitled Airborn (AireFire Records, 2005). Jennifer also released her first full-length album, Written In The Sand (AireFire Records, 2005). Band musicians included pianist Denis Johnson Jr., vocalist Becca Johnson, bassist Ron Sykes III, and drummer Dave “Teaspoon” Hulett.
2005 proved to be a significant year in two other aspects. The first being the birth of their first child, daughter Evangeline Mae; and the second being the release of Christopher’s first fictional novel with publisher Tsaba House Inc. Rise of the Dibor (Tsaba House, 2005) would be the launch pad for his writing career which spans seven novels to date and a trilogy partnership with author Wayne Thomas Batson.
For the next four years, Christopher would focus on building his family (sons Luik Christopher, Judah Peter-Kirk and Levi Bowen), and on developing New Life’s growing youth ministry with a transition into the church’s new building. He would also shift attention from music to his budding writing career. His published novels now include: The Lion Vrie (Tsaba House, 2006), Curse of the Spider King (Thomas Nelson, 2009), Venom and Song (Thomas Nelson, 2010), The Tide of Unmaking (Thomas Nelson, 2012), Athera’s Dawn (Spearhead, 2012), and The Sky Riders (Spearhead, 2013).
In 2009, Christopher contacted longtime friend and Michigan-based guitarist Paul Rohling to record a live acoustic coffee house album in the tradition of his parents’ Jesus Movement days of the early 1970s. The result was Live at the Lyric (Sprig Music, 2009), including special guests Christian Fahey, Ryan Grant and Jennifer Hopper. The project would also mark the debut of Christopher and Peter’s new church-based record imprint, Sprig Music.
Christopher eventually called his band back together, this time with guitarists Nate Cronk and Jason Rodgers, to record a live record at his home church over New Years. Heaven Meets Earth (Sprig Music, 2010) enjoyed the most success yet, and would go on to be recorded with French vocals in Switzerland. Lead by Executive Producer Sylvain Freymond and Producer Gabriel Alonso, the record was released as Le Ciel Touche La Terre (Jeunesse en Mission, 2010).
Christopher’s business ventures have included the opening of numerous franchise and private restaurants, including CiCi’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery locations in New York and Georgia. All of his business partnerships are formed around making them what he considers “kingdom businesses”—entities which use the profits from each venture to fund Christ-centered, non-profit endeavors. He was a founding partner in marketing firm New Life Media, which he later stepped down from to pursue the opening of Sprig Music Studios. As head of A&R, Christopher works closely with his father to managed the label and artist development.
Christopher has served as the Associate Pastor for New Life from 2011 to present, and continues to tour with his wife Jennifer, speaking and leading worship mainly in the US, Europe and Central America. He’s presently working on a new worship record under Christopher and Jennifer Hopper, booking tours through 2015, as well as on his wife’s next general market record. Newly signed band members include basset Jake Desormo, drummer Sam Widrick, guitarist Jason Rodgers, and keyboardist Jacob Widrick. Christopher is also at work on three new books, including non-fiction works focusing on spiritual formation.
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