HARRISON LIPPERT, SENIOR PASTOR
Born and raised in South Dakota, I grew up on a farm near Tripp from 3rd grade through high school. Our family attended the Memorial Baptist Church in Parkston. In that parking lot, I accepted Jesus as my Savior after Vacation Bible School. Pastor Brian Hayes baptized me when I was in 4th grade. Our family was always close to the pastors and their kids leaving me many fond, if not always edifying memories of church life and pastors’ families.
As part of a contest to invite people to church, my grandpa suggested I invited the Guthmiller family, little knowing that their daughter, Pam, would become my wife. We both attended Tripp High School and I made the bold move to ask Pam to homecoming when I was a sophomore and she was a senior (before it was announced she was the homecoming princess!) Tripp won two football championships in spite of me. I helped more playing trumpet in band and singing in choir. After high school, not knowing what to do with my life, I attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I graduated in 1989 and ten days later married Pam.
We began our adventure in the Air Force together and a couple years later were blessed with Nathan (1992), then Jani (1993), and later Kyle (1995). During our seven years in the Air Force we experienced some great fellowship in South Canyon Baptist Church in Rapid City and New Life Baptist Church in Omaha. We felt God’s call to seminary and made the exciting transition out of the Air Force and into school at North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls (now Sioux Falls Seminary). I switched from the Strategic Missiles career field to become a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves.
During seminary we had the privilege of serving as student pastor of Sioux Valley Baptist Church north of Dell Rapids. We added Jessica (1997) and Bethany (1998) to our family during those years. I started as the associate pastor at Oak Hills Baptist Church in Sioux Falls on January 1999 and joined the South Dakota Air National Guard one year later.
In 2002 we were blessed with our sixth child, Natalie. Before Natalie was a year old the guard called me to active duty and deployed me to Qatar in the Global War on Terror. While deployed I resigned from Oak Hills. The church continued to serve as a great source of support and encouragement for our family. Returning to Sioux Falls in May of 2003 we began to look and pray for a Senior Pastor position.
This congregation invited us to visit that summer. As our oldest son, Nathan, said upon touring the parsonage and seeing the tire swing in the back yard, “It is like a dream.” The people of this church have been abundantly kind and supportive. Our children have thrived with a supportive church and community. Since accepting the call in 2003 God added Chaylie (2004) and Karis (2006) to our list of blessings. As of 2015, one fourth of my life has been invested in walking and growing with this church. I hope we will encourage you to follow Jesus…further.
Interests: I enjoy playing with my children–nothing like a good game of “Starlight, Moonlight” or “Sardines”. Now they are getting old enough and sneaky enough to make a game of “Hearts” fun and challenging. We also enjoy camping together, fishing, and music. Pam and I enjoy walking the trails. Some day I hope to enjoy golf again.
Master of Divinity, North American Baptist Seminary, 1999
Master of Business Administration, 1993
Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics), United States Air Force Academy, 1989