Galilee Lutheran Church welcomed the Rev. Matt Hilpert as its new pastor in July. Hilpert described the service as a day of joy and appreciation.
“I am in awe of the wonderful people at Galilee Lutheran,” he said. “I have never lived in Maryland before, but the people are so warm and welcoming. It was truly a day of heartfelt thanksgiving for this new opportunity.”
Hilpert considers himself to be an “accidental pastor” of sorts, for this was never his intended career path. Even so, Hilpert is a fifth-generation pastor. Growing up in a pastor’s household, Hilpert never felt he could do what he saw his father do in the church.
“He was an incredible pastor,” Hilpert said of his father. “I never wanted to stand up and speak in front of people.”
While Hilpert admired the work of his father, he instead went to college, where he met his wife, Rachel, and pursued a career in marine biology. “It was incredible; I actually trained sea lions,” he said.
Eventually, Hilpert switched gears and began work as a biochemist in California. While he was fascinated by science, he was left feeling disenfranchised by some of the darker business components that a career in biochemistry had brought to light.
A man of faith, Hilpert sought advice from pastors and family members and began to feel an urge to enroll in seminary. Although he had doubts, Hilpert could find no reason not to follow this calling, and he went off to seminary with Rachel.
Along with their three kids, they have lived in Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Missouri and California. When asked how the family felt about their move to Maryland, Hilpert replied, “We felt almost immediately at home. We feel very blessed to be here. Our kids are excited to be starting public school after lengthy experiences in private schools, and my son is excited to become a true Marylander and do things like crabbing.”
Hilpert considers this move to have been a huge leap of faith for the family members, but he said they have always relied on their faith to lead and guide them through life decisions.
As a father of teenagers, Hilpert is excited to implement more programs and provide more opportunities for youth involvement at Galilee Lutheran. Hilpert said the July service was a way of publicly stating, “As a church, we have been given a new pastor to help lead and guide us in our faith. It was a blessing of a new union of sorts, one in which we will love and support each other as pastor and congregation.”