July 22, 2004

Memphis UMC To Welcome New Minister This Sunday

A carry-in welcome dinner is planned for Sunday, July 25th following the morning services at the Memphis United Methodist Church to officially welcome new minister, Rev. Terry Lippstreu, his wife Marsha and their daughter Jessica.

Having moved into the Memphis UMC parsonage on June 24, Rev. Lippstreu said this is just one more way the community and the UMC members continue to show their tremendous hospitality.

“We’ve been amazed at how friendly and welcoming the people of Memphis are,” Lippstreu said. “It’s been like moving back home. Memphis reminds us so much of where we grew up, only with a lot of new faces and a lot of new friends.”

The Lippstreu’s, originally from Nebraska, moved to Missouri in 1986, and have been Missourians ever since. Rev. Terry’s roots go back to a large farm south of Kearney, NE, near the Kansas border. Marsha’s hometown was North Platte, NE, where her parents owned and operated a service station. Marsha and Terry married in 1981. Their one child, Jessica, 21, was born in Grand Island, NE, but almost all of her memories are of living in Missouri.

“Like all good parents, we’ve always tried to describe to Jessica what life was like when we were growing up,” said Marsha. “Now our ‘ancient history’ lessons have more meaning. All we have to do is say ‘This is what it was like’.”

Rev. Lippstreu grew up in a rural United Methodist church, where his mother was the pianist and organist, and still is.

“I can hardly remember a time when I did not know Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” he said. “My calling from God to be a minister of the gospel came when I was still in high school, and I’ve been sharing my love of the Lord ever since. My constant prayer and goal is for everyone to personally know Jesus, for everyone to be in church every Sunday as part of a church family, and for everyone to continually grow in their love of God and their neighbor by living out their faith on a daily basis.”

More recently, the Lippstreu’s were living in Maysville, where Rev. Terry was the pastor of three United Methodist churches and overseeing a fourth.

“We loved all the people in all four of the churches, so it was hard to say goodbye,” Pastor Terry said. “But the Lord had something new in mind for us,”

As he explained in his very first sermon at the Memphis UMC it was God’s plan to bring him to town.

“A year ago, a Maysville UMC member bought the three of us front row seats to a Billy Ray Cyrus concert in Branson,” Terry said. “Jessica bought one of his t-shirts there. It wasn’t until after being appointed here as minister that we discovered that ‘Back to Memphis’ is printed multiple times all over the shirt. The concert we had attended a year ago was called the ‘Back to Memphis Concert Tour.’ God had everything all planned for us a long time ago. We just didn’t know the plan yet.”

The Lippstreu’s are excited about all the great singers and musicians here in Memphis. They bought opening night tickets to see “My Way” performed last week by the Memphis Community Players. As a singer himself, many people in Memphis have already warned Pastor Terry that he will be a part of the production next year. He isn’t fighting the idea.

“My whole family and I love music,” he said. “We have been very impressed with the musical talent here and how the whole town is supportive of each other. We’re glad to be a part of the great things you have going here.”

As a way to add to the line-up of great music here in Memphis, Pastor Terry was able to book singer-songwriter-storyteller, Lee Domann, for a concert on Monday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Memphis United Methodist Church.

“I hope you’ve seen the posters around town and had a chance to read the article in last week’s newspaper about Lee. Coming from Nashville, Tennessee, you can expect a great concert.”

The Memphis UMC asks the community to join church members in welcoming the Lippstreu’s on Sunday, July 25th at the carry-in dinner following the worship service. The church is located at 220 W. Jefferson Street in Memphis. Meat and drink will be provided for guests.

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