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’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.
Dawna Wetzel is our new Administrative Assistant as of September 2021. She is married to Ben Wetzel. He is a Master Certified Commercial Kitchen repair technician. In 2015, he was asked to relocate here, Sioux Falls, SD from the Blairstown (Cedar Rapids area), IA area in 2015. Dawna has been a stay-at- home mom for 11 years beginning with Sarai and two years later Willow. After the birth of her son in 2016 she entered the work force on a part time basis. Dawna has a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and played with the WCFSymphony among other smaller groups. Later, she returned to school to receive her teaching certification. She has many hobbies which include: other musical instruments, hiking with her kids, and cross-stitching.
A United Methodist Faith Community
Jason Petersen
Youth Group Leader
Lauri Jackson
Youth Group Leader
Dawna Wetzel
Administrative Assistant
Don Vanderlip, as a young man growing up in Pennsylvania, felt the call to ministry. Don earned his BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Sioux Falls. During his time in college Don received a scholarship to play baseball at USF, was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was a Resident Director. After College, Don spent the next three years earning his Master’s in Divinity from Sioux Falls Seminary. He has served as Youth Pastor for 14 years in Sioux Falls churches, with eight of those years in the service of the United Methodist Church. One of Don’s greatest joys in life is helping people grow in their walk with Jesus. Don, his wife, Kristi, a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District, and his children Madisyn, Hudsen, and Cahlen look forward to getting to know you!
Pastor Don Vanderlip
Church Pastor