Jeff Petrik – Member Profile

Hometown – Gayville, South Dakota

Birthday – July 20, 1967


Jeff Petrik – Owner, Innovative Builders

Quick!  Name someone famous from South Dakota!  Roger Maris you say?  Nope.  The famous Yankee slugger was from North Dakota.  If you are old, you might have named Tom Brokaw or Hubert Humphrey.  If you are an American History buff, you might have named Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull.  Even though there are not a lot of famous people from South Dakota, there are a lot of hard working, industrious people from this great state.  Our congregation is home to one of those hard working South Dakotans.  Meet Jeff Petrik.

Jeff was raised in a large Catholic family.  He is the youngest child in a family of 8 kids.  He was born and raised in Gayville, South Dakota (population, 407).  Never heard of Gayville?  Gayville is known as the Hay Capital of the World.  It also brags that it is in competition to be the Hay Capital of the Universe!  Located in the southeastern corner of South Dakota, it is known for its annual Hay County Jamboree.  The jamboree draws people from all over and is held in the old time music hall located on the town’s main street.  Sounds like a great little town.


The Petriks – Melissa, Johanna, Jeff, and Ellen

Jeff attended high school at Gayville-Volin High School and upon graduation moved on to South Dakota State University, home of the fighting Jack Rabbits.  Jeff earned a degree in Ag Business with attending SDSU, but his greatest accomplishment while going to school in Brookings was finding his bride to be, Melissa Hansen.

Jeff and Melissa, who hails from Faribault, Minnesota, were married in 1994.  The Petriks moved to Knoxville in 1996 when Melissa enrolled in UT to attend graduate school and finish her doctorate.  They moved to Knoxville by way of Wilmington, North Carolina.  In 2001, Melissa accepted a job as a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Tennessee, and the Petriks became official Southerners.

The Petriks have 2 lovely daughters, Johanna (2003) and Ellen (2006), and have been members at Eastminster since 2008.

Jeff may well be one of the hardest working members at EPC.  He has his hand in many pots on our campus.  He is a jack of all trades and is a willing worker wherever he is needed.  You might find him running the sound board on Sunday morning or at any special event taking place at the church.  As a member of Session, he helps coordinate work days, performs maintenance on anything broken, and oversees many projects as a member of the Ministry of Stewardship (Finance and Property).

As hard as Jeff works at church, he works just as hard as a business owner in our community.  Jeff’s company, Innovative Builders, can be found remodeling houses all around our area.  Just look for his red trucks.  Many members of our congregation speak very highly of the work that Jeff has performed at their houses.  Not only does he work hard, he also works well!

Jeff Petrik, worker bee.  If you ever catch him standing still, introduce yourself to this fine Christian man.

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