UUFA News

Rev. Pippin Called to be UUFA Settled Minister

On Sunday, May 1, 2022, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens called Rev. Dr. M. Pippin Whitaker to be our new settled minister. After Rev. Pippin’s inspiring service, an overwhelming majority of the congregation voted in support of her call at the special meeting held following the service.  Rev. Pippin’s husband, Dr. Steve Lize, their three children aged 14, 11, and 9, and Rev. Pippin’s parents Bob and Keitha Whitaker were present at the service and the subsequent welcoming celebration. All of them are planning to move to Athens when Dr. Pippin starts her ministry at UUFA on August 1, 2022.

Rev. Pippin brings a wealth of experience and strong educational history to her ministry. She holds a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Illinois, which she obtained in 2019 following her prior degrees which include a Bachelor of Science (minoring in Mathematics and Statistics, and Music), Masters and Ph.D. in Social Work.  Much of her social work focused on community and organizational change to prevent both individual and structural violence and to build anti-oppressive communities.    

Rev. Pippin currently serves as Affiliated Community Minister at the UU Congregation of Columbia and as the Executive Director of the South Carolina UU Justice Alliance (SCUUJA).  Prior to that she served as Minister at the Accotink UU Church in Burke, VA.  She has an extensive range of professional and community volunteer experiences, including currently serving as the Co-chair of the Commission on Social Witness of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The call for Rev. Pippin follows a yearlong effort by the Settled Minister Search Committee, consisting of Barbara Schell (Chair), Tracy Brown, Todd Dinkelman, Aleta Mendenhall-Turner, John Olive, Lee Reed, and Julie Sapp. Click here for a video of Search Team members’ reasons for choosing Rev. Pippin as our settled minister candidate.

View Rev. Pippin’s morning worship service from April 24.

View Rev. Pippin’s morning worship service from May 1.

You can learn more about Rev. Pippin by clicking on her website here.

The search team along with Rev. Pippin’s husband Steve watch as Rev. Pippin signs her contract.

President Vivian Sellers made it official with her signature.

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