Leadership

The Reverend Robert “Robb” Lapp

The Reverend Robert “Robb” Lapp

Interim Pastor

In my 35 years of ministry, I have served as an Associate Pastor and a Solo Pastor in churches ranging in size from 300 to 2,000 members. Most recently, I completed a long pastorate of congregational care and assimilation at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. My formal interim ministry training was in Montreat NC, but my informal training came from serving on the staff of churches with interim pastors three times.

I grew up in Florida and am a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. I am active in the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, having served on the Mission Cabinet, Steering Team, and am currently serving on the Commission on Ministry.

Vickie, my wife, recently retired from teaching in elementary schools in New Hanover County. Our daughter, Kate, and son in-law, Bob, live in Wilmington with our three-year-old son, Charlie. Our son, Stephen, is in Durham.

I have loved getting to know, worship, and serve with the faithful folks at Southport Presbyterian Church

The Reverend Joanna Hipp

The Reverend Joanna Hipp

Associate Pastor

Ordained 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 graduated from St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now University) in Laurinburg, NC. Joanna earned her Masters of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky. 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 continues to serve at local and national levels of the PC(USA). Joanna is also a trained coach.

 

Laurie Russ

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.

 

Ilona Smith

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

Ray Dickerson

Bookkeeper

Prior to moving to Southport in 2017, with his wife, Christy, Ray was a lifelong resident of southern MD. A graduate of Campbell University with a degree in Accounting, he worked in the mortgage industry for 31 years. Welcoming the change of pace that Southport has to offer, Ray enjoys using his accounting background in support of the church.

John Schmuhl

John Schmuhl

Treasurer

John and his wife Nancy joined Southport Presbyterian in 2018. Earlier he served as an elder and finance chair at Christ Presbyterian Church in Carlsbad, CA. John’s professional career included more than three decades as a marketing executive at several major information technology firms.