Guest Contributor

The Rev. Lisa Harper-Baker has called the Tennessee Conference home for most of her life. Growing up in a minister’s family has been a cherished blessing. Her parents, the Rev. C. Fred Harper and Patty Sue Harper, served faithfully together in the Tennessee Conference for over 60 years. Since an early age, Lisa has enjoyed sharing in a music ministry with her sisters, Lydia and Laurie.

After singing with her twin sister, Laurie, with the Junaluska Singers, traveling together in music ministry with concerts and missions, and performing with Country Music’s “Whispering Bill” Anderson on weekends at the Grand Ole Opry and summer tours, the twins transitioned into starting families of their own. Lisa began working with older adults, discovering a deep love and respect for their wisdom, resilience, and joy for life.  Her work experiences as a life enrichment coordinator and activities director in skilled and lifecare communities inspired Lisa to continue her education from earlier years at Martin Methodist College. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music/Music Therapy at Arizona State University. 

For Lisa, working in this profession has felt like a sacred vocation by witnessing how God uses the interventions of music to bring healing and breaking through perceived barriers to unleash one’s abilities to flourish with new possibilities and potential. She is making a real difference for people living with various challenges–spiritually, physically, emotionally, cognitively, and mentally.

Lisa completed her Master of Arts in Aging and Spirituality at Asbury Theological Seminary. Upon graduation, she was appointed to serve as associate pastor of Congregational Care at Jackson (Tennessee) First United Methodist Church for three years. As she continues her studies for ordained ministry, Lisa is currently serving as pastor of Byrdstown First United Methodist Church, Lovelady Christian Church, and Livingston United Methodist Fellowship in the Caney Fork District.

Lisa is grateful for the opportunity to join the ENCORE Ministry Committee, and is looking forward to discovering and exploring God’s vision for older adult ministries in the Tennessee Conference.