The Reverend Robb Lapp, Interim Senior Pastor
In his 34 years of ministry, Robb has served as an Associate Pastor and a Solo Pastor in churches ranging in size from 300 to 2,000 members. Most recently, Robb completed a long pastorate of congregational care and assimilation at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. His formal interim ministry training was in Montreat NC, but his informal training comes from being on the staff of churches with interim pastors three times. So he knows that experience from the inside! This will be a great gift to our members and staff.
Robb is a native of Florida and graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. He is active in the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, having served on the Mission Cabinet, Steering Team, New Church Development, and Nominating committees. Among his colleagues and church members, he is respected for his compassion and pastoral care, organization, preaching, dedication, and steadfastness. Robb’s ministry style is collaborative, which is one reason he was drawn to our church, where we value mutuality and consensus in decision-making among staff and church leaders.
Family relationships are important to Robb. His wife, Vickie, recently retired from school teaching in New Hanover County. Their daughter, Kate, and son in-law, Bob, live in Wilmington with toddler, Charlie. Their son, Stephen, is in Durham. Robb’s open-hearted spirit, wonderful sense of humor, comfort with relationships, and steady guidance combine to provide just the pastoral leadership we need.

The Reverend Joanna Hipp, Associate Pastor
Ordained in her home church in October 2015, Joanna’s first call was to Providence Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, as Associate Pastor for youth, missions, and outreach. She was called to Southport Presbyterian in September, 2019. She attended St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now University) in Laurinburg, NC, where she majored in Religious Studies. She spent one semester studying and traveling in Italy. Joanna earned her Masters of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky. She completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education working at the University of Louisville Level I Trauma Center. In addition to her congregational work, Joanna has been involved in leadership roles at Montreat conferences, served as media relations chair of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, and served on various committees with the Presbytery of Charlotte. Joanna has also served pulpit supply for many churches in North Carolina. 910-457-6811

Laurie Russ, Music Director
The superior quality of music is an inspirational aspect of worship at Southport Presbyterian Church. Our Director of Music, Laurie Russ, brings broad experience as a music professional and educator.  She has served as a music director and pianist in area churches and schools, a piano instructor, accompanist, and independent piano teacher.
Laurie studied music at Meredith College and at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and she is a licensed Kindermusik Educator. 910-457-6811

Ilona Smith, Office Administrator
Ilona joined the church staff in August, 2019. Prior to moving to Southport, Ilona and her husband, Greg lived in Western North Carolina for 25 years. Her professional experience includes management of dental offices in South Carolina and church secretary for an 1,100-member congregation in Hendersonville, NC.

Ray Dickerson, Bookkeeper
Prior to moving to Southport, Ray served as a mortgage loan officer in Waldorf, MD. He is a trained volunteer with the Brunswick Literacy Council. A graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC, Ray’s professional skills include orientation to details and extensive customer service.

Gary Phipps, Treasurer
Gary became a member of SPC in 2016, transferring from St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, where he served as Treasurer for 10 years as a member of the church’s financial management team. A retired engineer, he had a 35-year career with Bell Laboratories and AT&T Communications.