Spotlight Ministry:

Patria House
Bill Hopper

Patria Ministries would like you to learn more about one of our family members: Bill Hopper of Patria House. Bill has been connected with Michael French for several years and was a founding member when Patria Ministries was created. In the spring of 2013, Bill retired from the fire service and moved from the Atlanta area to his land in Sprott, Alabama. At this time, Patria House was created. Bill’s vision was for a type of “city of refuge”…a non-profit small group retreat center committed to facilitating inner healing, spiritual growth and intimacy with God. Patria House sits on 200 acres of rural countryside near the Cahaba River overlooking the scenic foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The center consists of a 4500 square foot main house that can host 8-12 people.And, it has a small log “Jackson Cabin” that is now a historical landmark in Perry County, and the welcoming center of Patria House.

Michael French had the opportunity to visit Patria House and has a story to share…

One of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life occurred on a visit to Patria House in Sprott, Alabama.  Sprott is a rural community in an area also known as Theo and about 30 minutes from Selma, Alabama.  Bill Hopper had taken Elisa and I to Selma to talk to some church leaders about the idea of doing an Art of Hearing God class there and we were on our way back to Patria House.  It was a dark, but clear evening and we were traveling down the highway on our return journey.  Bill was driving, I was in the front passenger seat and Elisa was in the back.  Ahead of us we saw what looked like fog and I remember thinking it looked as if a cloud had just settled down over the road.  For a long time we didn’t seem to get any closer, despite continuing to travel forward, but after a short time I noticed what seemed to be the headlights of another vehicle topping a hill ahead of us and shining into the cloud.  As we finally seemed to near the “cloud” the lights from the other car grew brighter and brighter.  When we entered the cloud the lights were brilliant and it felt as though the cloud itself were passing into and through my physical body.  Time seemed to stand still though I am sure what appeared to be minutes of time were only the briefest of seconds and we were out the other side of the “cloud”.  There was no doubt that the cloud had been the presence of the Lord and we had passed through his Glory.  I knew this, could feel it in my body and spirit, even before my mind realized that there was no vehicle approaching from the other side and there was no hill, but rather a straight level road for more than a mile ahead.  Elisa and Bill experienced this supernatural encounter as well and immediately began to talk about what it could have been.  As for me, I could not speak for almost 10 minutes and the impact on my life has continued ‘til this day.  Although I have no words to explain what happened and honestly don’t even understand why it did, I know within myself that something changed as that Cloud of Glory passed through me that night and I felt the tangible presence of the Lord along the road from Selma to Theo. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *