Rev. Dr. Charles Lippse
Charles was a United Methodist pastor and devoted churchman, serving United Methodist churches in the Holston Annual Conference for over 60 years. He was appointed to the District Superintendency for two separate terms and also served as assistant to the Bishop of the Holston Annual Conference. Indeed, he was asked to come out of retirement at least twice to serve his Annual Conference in these capacities. It is in his capacity as assistant to the Bishop that his path lead him to the ministry of The Society for Biblical Studies. He and his wife of 62 years, Kaye, were passionately committed to S.B.S. Charles served on the Board of Directors from 2001 until his death. He was the Board President from 2002 to 2009 and was the Vice President from 2009 until the time of his death.
Charles was a passionate advocate of social justice having taken prophetic and risky positions on race relations as early as the early 1950s. His interest in and commitment to justice inspired his positions on justice for Palestinians and security for Israelis. He made a commitment to himself not to travel to Israel until the Palestinians themselves had a state of their own. By 1999, he had come to realize that a Palestinian state was very far in the future. Since he wanted to visit the lands of the Bible, he decided that he would go, but only with a socially repsonsible organization. Fortuitously, he was led to The Society for Biblical Studies. From his first journey with S.B.S., he recognized it as an organization that promoted authentic pilgrimage and not merely another tour complany. He became a passionate advocate of the S.B.S. mission. He personally led hundreds of people on nine journeys to the Holy Land, Greece, England, Turkey, and Egypt. In addition, he participated in all of S.B.S.' national conferences. He was instrumental in broadcasting the word of S.B.S.' mission well beyond the Holston Annual Conference.