3400 East 49th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | Phone: 605.371.2065
Church Leader Profiles
I have worked with the youth group since 2009. As one of our former pastors used to say, "Southern Hills UMC has the best kids in the world!" I feel so blessed to hang out with these young people and encourage them as they grow in their Faith. So often when we study Scripture together, I am amazed at our kids' ability to understand God's instruction and their desire to put into practice the things that we learn. Our group is a place where every young person is welcome and accepted for the person that God made them to be. In my free time, I love spending time with my wife and our two boys. Frequently, that involves coaching youth league sports teams!
I began working with the youth group in 2012 and have been attending SHUMC since 2010. I'm currently employed as an outpatient physical therapist at Avera. I am passionate about working with the youth because the youth really do God's work for the church, each other, and the community. I love hearing about their activities and their spiritual encounters with God. I'm blessed to be able to encourage them in their faith.
I’ve been coordinating Youth on Fire activities since 2009. Originally volunteering as a leader to offer a place for my own kids to grow closer to God, I quickly found that I wanted to make sure all of middle and high school students in our church had a place to belong and to grow. My favorite part of Wednesday nights is participating in service projects with the youth. I love the way our youth embrace serving others, and not just talking about it, but showing that we truly are the hands and feet of God.
I started working with the Southern Hills Youth Group in 2012. I have been attending SHUMC and Holy Spirit churches since 2010. I’m a teacher currently working in Harrisburg with the 8th graders, there. I am passionate about working with the youth because I enjoy having makeup put on me at variety shows. All kidding aside, I really care about each individual youth member and have fond memories of my own youth group growing up. I love to see kids grow in their faith and I’m excited about being able to foster that.
I’m excited to partner with all of you in ministry as the new Administrative Assistant! My family moved here from Huron, SD in 2017. My husband, Larry, is the Assistant Band Director at Augustana University and we have two kids. Alex is going into 6 th grade at South Middle School in Harrisburg and Ainsley will be in 2nd grade at Harrisburg Explorer Elementary. We also added a Mini Australian Shepherd to our family in February. I have a Music Education degree as well as a Master’s in Music and have spent most of my career as a music teacher. In Huron, I was the Choral Director at Huron High School and the last two years I was the elementary music specialist at Freedom Elementary in Harrisburg. I was also the Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Huron for 22 years. Seven of those years was in a full-time capacity as I was the director of all things music and worship related so I am eager to bring my organizational and administrative skills to Southern Hills. We have loved our move to Sioux Falls and all the opportunities it provides. I feel working here at Southern Hills is one of those opportunities God has placed in front of me. We were warmly welcomed on our first Sunday here and it has felt like “home” already. Being an active part of a ministry team is something I am really looking forward to and I pray my gifts are a blessing to Southern Hills. It will take me a while to learn names and how you volunteer and participate in the life of the church so please be patient with me as I learn the ropes!
A United Methodist Faith Community
Jason Petersen
Youth Group Leader
Paula Williams
Youth Group Leader
Lauri Jackson
Youth Group Leader
Byron Williams
Youth Group Leader
Laura Petersen
Administrative Assistant
Don Vanderlip, as a young man, felt the call to ministry. Don earned his BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Sioux Falls. During college Don played baseball, was involved in FCA and was a Resident Director. After College Don spent the next 3 years earning his Masters in Divinity from Sioux Falls Seminary. He served as Youth Pastor for 14 years in Sioux Falls, with 8 of those years in UMC church. One of Dons greatest joys in life is helping people grow in their walk with Jesus. Don and his wife, Kristi who is a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District, and children Madisyn, Hudsen, and Cahlen look forward to getting to know you.
Pastor Don Vanderlip
Church Pastor
Justin Roy Jenness grew up in Primghar, Iowa and graduated from South O'Brien school. Following graduation Justin attended the University of Sioux Falls. He grew up knowing the importance of community within the church. God worked on him through several experiences, to gain and trust in His (God's) process. Through these experiences Justin found a passion to share the Gospel. Justin and his wife Sarah reside in Sioux Falls. Sarah is an occupational therapist. They have two children, Simon and Siri. The Jenness family looks forward to living life with you and serving as the body of Christ!
Pastor Justin Jenness
Church Pastor