Jeff Schipper, Minister
I was born in 1956 in Fort Ord, CA, while my father was in the Air Force. From the age of 5 till I was 17, I lived with my Mother, Father, and my sister Nancy in Minnesota. My senior year of high school we moved to Omaha, NE. I graduated from Burke High in 1974.
I went to college at UNL majoring in Journalism. After two years of college I dropped out due to my undisciplined and unchristian life. I moved to Seward and started working as Walker Mfg., making mufflers on an assembly line. Who needs an education when you can make $4.32 an hour? I thought that was good money in 1977!
I met Debbie MacDougall while we were both working at Walker Mfg., the job was definitely good for something. We were married in August of 1978. Daniel was born in 1980. He is now a P.A. in the Army. He is stationed at Ft. Riley, KS, after serving two tours in Iraq. He is married to the wonderful Merissa. They are the excellent parents of our exceptional granddaughter, Avery, who is now six years old.
Our daughter Kelly was born in 1982. She is currently working as a closed captioner. She is married to the wonderful Israel Acuna. They are the excellent parents of our exceptional granddaughter Aliya, now five years old and Felicity, two years old.
After 18 years of factory work, I went back to college and received a degree in Behavioral Science at Concordia University in Seward. After a year of work in Lincoln as a supervisor in a factory I returned to school. I went to York College and received a degree in Biblical Studies. I graduated in May of 2000 and was blessed to start preaching for the Glen Park Church of Christ in June of that year.
My father was Methodist and my Mother was Catholic. My Mother took us to the Catholic Church until I was 13. When we stopped going to church it was fine with me, I had better things to do. However, at 19 I started having doubts about my life; its purpose and direction. Two things I had learned attending the Catholic Church started to gnaw at me; there is a God and Jesus died for the sins of the world. If that was true, I thought my life should reflect that sacrifice more than it was, which was not at all.
I started to read the Bible for the first time to try to find some answers.As a child we were taught not to read the Bible, that was the priest's job. Well, instead of finding answers, I was frustrated and confused. The things I was reading seemed to say just the opposite of what I had been taught earlier. They were things like Jesus' statement in Matthew 23:9, not to give the title of "father" to any man. Which I did when we taught to call our priest "father". Then there was Jesus warning us not to use vain repetitions when we prayed, which I did when I went to confession and was told to say three "Our Fathers" and two "Hail Marys" for the forgiveness of my sins.
These contridictions between what I read and what I was taught was frustrating. I thought I didn't understand how to read the Bible. I started asking other people what they believed to try to find some answers. But it seemed that their answers were lacking as well.
I was 22 when I married Debbie, she had been raised in the Lutheran Church and had attended Concordia College to be a teacher. During our premarital counseling with the Lutheran minister I was asked to sign a paper stating that I would raise my children in the Lutheran faith. That was fine with me, I would have signed anything just to get married to Debbie. However, when Debbie was pregnant a few years later, I started thinking hard about God again. I could accept the fact that I would receive from God what I deserved for what I had done with my life, but I wanted my children to know what was going on with God.
I started watching a show called "Let the Bible Speak" put on by the <
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