HOMECOMING: One of our recent issues was themed around the Bible. We'd love to hear what the Word of God means to you and how you feel it's viewed among people your age.
KARLYE: The Bible is one of those things that kind of gets pushed to the back with a lot of people, especially people my age. They really don’t even try to pick it up. You know, we get it, but you can look at your iPad instead. The thing there is that everything gets looked at by a set of rules, and that’s not how it was written. God spoke love and life into us, and that’s the beautiful thing about the Bible. It is still true after all these years, and all He’s telling us is we have to listen to Him, obey Him and look to Him. We don’t have to get into all of the “dress a certain way, look a certain way, be a certain way”… It’s more about the relationship between yourself and Him. That’s one of the main things that the Bible means to me, that this has been written and read by all of these souls all of these years and it hasn’t changed, it hasn’t been touched.
With people today, it’s kind of like [they think] we are judging them, and that’s not the case at all. If they would actually look at it and take some time with it, that’s not what we’re saying to you. I have so many friends who have no idea what my parents do, and a lot of them are not as close to God as we would all hope. But the one thing that I can constantly say is that there’s a plan … maybe your day wasn’t that great, but there’s a reason your day wasn’t that great, and there’s a love that’s going to follow you to bed tonight.
HOMECOMING: What have you learned, living in this family that travels and ministers as a career? Do you enjoy the lifestyle, or are there drawbacks to it?
KARLYE: I’ll be honest with you; sometimes I do get frustrated with it. I’d love to be able to be home and be at the pool with my friends right now, but instead I’m somewhere in Texas, walking down a dirt road, waiting for them to set up. But on the other hand, I have learned so much more being out here all the time, whether or not I’m the best at algebra. I could travel by myself from here to South Africa and not be afraid, because I’ve learned—I know how everything works between here to there, you know? It’s a lot of street-smart stuff; I could get my way around just about anywhere. I can talk to anyone; I literally do talk to anyone. I’ll talk to the homeless man on the corner. If somebody at the gas station asks me for money, I’ll end up asking them about their life and we’ll be sitting there crying together by the end of the conversation; it’s kind of ridiculous. I’m like a 60-year-old man.
HOMECOMING: It sounds like you really have a heart for people, much like your folks. Can you tell us a little about the Hopper Heritage Foundation, which was your grandfather Claude’s inspiration?
KARLYE: My grandfather is one of those … like the song on the latest album says, “If I can help somebody, then my living shall not be in vain.” It really has reached into every facet of his life. I’m the most proud person in the world when it comes to my grandparents and my family. We did a golf tournament back in May that was a fundraiser for the foundation, and at the banquet before the tournament, they asked me to sing. I burst into tears, because I was there watching what they were doing. The foundation is a way to raise money for kids who want to be in Christian business, Christian music … any aspect, ministry-wise. We have a ton of different ways we raise money … the books that we sell, private donations, armbands that say “God loves you; He always has, He always will,” which is a saying of Dr. David Jeremiah. So it’s one of those really cool things that I am super proud of.
The thing with my grandparents is that it’s been on their hearts since 1957, since they first stepped into this. And the foundation has breathed life into this idea that they have had for more than 50 years.
HOMECOMING: That’s great; it’s so nice that the whole family can participate in something together that helps others. We understand that another passion of yours is writing; how is that going?
KARLYE: I’m one of those—I’m gonna take all the opportunities that I’m given. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so everything is going to lead to the next point. At the age of 15, I got to write a page for Homecoming, and pretty much everything that you’ve seen in any magazine or the liner notes from our albums—anything that has the name Hopper on it, I’ve at least been an editor on it. So I’ve had a lot of opportunities there, and that’s really cool. I also think I’d really love to do some screenwriting … that sounds really interesting.
HOMECOMING: Well, that does sound exciting, and we certainly hope that God will bring more opportunities your way! Thank you for speaking with us.
KARLYE: Thank you!