Leadership & Staff
The Reverend Robert “Robb” Lapp
In his 35 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, he 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 he says his informal training came from serving on the staff of churches with interim pastors three times.
Robb grew up in Florida and is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. He is active in the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, served on the Mission Cabinet Steering Team, and is currently serving on the Commission on Ministry.
His wife Vickie recently retired from teaching in elementary schools in New Hanover County. Their daughter, Kate, and son in-law, Bob, live in Wilmington with their three-year-old son, Charlie. Their son Stephen lives in Durham.
“I have loved getting to know, worship, and serve with the faithful folks at Southport Presbyterian Church,” says Robb.
The Reverend Joanna Hipp
Joanna was called to Southport Presbyterian in 2019. She is a graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now University) and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. After graduating from Louisville Seminary, Joanna spent a year as an intern with the World Communion of Reformed Churches in Hannover, Germany. In addition to her congregational work, she 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.
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 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.
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 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.