The Rev. Joanna Hipp joined the staff of Southport Presbyterian Church this month as Associate Pastor, the first to hold this position in the church’s 120-year history. According to SPC’s Pastor, The Rev. Dr. Ann Jahnes, the church’s growth over the past several years, including the addition of a new Ministry Center last year, prompted the approval of this new staff position.
“We are excited to have Joanna join our professional staff, and we believe her experience, intelligence, heart for social justice and desire to work collaboratively will be an asset to our church family and to our community,” said Jahnes. “Joanna will serve as the primary staff resource person for our Fellowship, Mission, Youth & Family, and Welcome Ministries. She will also serve as part of the collaborative team for our Worship Ministry and will work with our Administration Ministry to improve communication, both within the congregation as well as the community and other area church ministries.”
Hipp was ordained at her home church, Cameron Presbyterian Church, Cameron, NC, in October 2015. Her first call was to Providence Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, as Associate Pastor for youth, missions and outreach. In addition to her congregational work, Hipp has been involved in leadership roles at state conferences, served as media relations chair of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, and served on various committees with the Presbytery of Charlotte. She also served as pulpit supply for many churches in North Carolina.
.A graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now a University) in Laurinburg, NC, Hipp majored in Religious Studies, and earned her Masters of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky. She completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Louisville Level I Trauma Center and served as Student Body President in her senior year, receiving the Alumni Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior in May 2014.
During seminary, Hipp had opportunities to work with the global ecumenical movement. She participated in the World Council of Churches on two occasions: as a worship steward at the Central Committee meeting in Greece in 2012 and with the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute in South Korea in 2013. After graduating, she served as a junior assistant/intern at the World Communion of Reformed Churches in Hanover, Germany from May 2014 to June 2015. Her areas of work included Justice and Partnership and Communication.
Hipp grew up in North Carolina and attended Union Pines High School in Carthage. While in high school, Joanna participated with her church on a mission trip to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, where she began her journey toward her call to service in ministry. She worked as a youth director in two Presbyterian churches, as a camp counselor at Montreat Camp and Conference Center in Montreat, NC, and as a participant at the Montreat College Conference.