Lisa Kopanski Harmon

Sr. Pastor

Minister of Healing and Community Transformation

Lisa was called by the bold and courageous congregation at Billings First Congregation Church in the fall of 2017. A licensed minister, she is a Member-In-Discernment on an alternate path to ordination. Lisa is a 500-hour certified yoga instructor; her ministry includes teaching trauma-informed yoga to incarcerated women with  substance abuse disorder, at Passages, a Yellowstone County, women’s detention facility.

She also teaches studio classes at Limber Tree Yoga Studio and community classes at BFCC. A proud entrepreneur, she founded an all-natural, gourmet cookie company in 1990 which she co-owned and operated with her two sisters, and garnered awards such as Montana Small Business Persons of the Year award, and two Addy awards in the state of MT for branding and point-of-purchase display items. She was named SBA Small Business Champion for the state of Montana in 2018.

Some of her accomplishments include an awareness and education initiative, Spare Change for Real Change,created to alleviate poverty and homelessness in the city of Billings, and a city-wide initiative, Community Innovations, an inclusive, cross-sector collaborative created to assist vulnerable populations, especially those with substance abuse disorder, in accessing safe, stable, and culturally appropriate resources and services, with priority on our indigenous community. As a result, the Motivated Addiction Alternative Program (MAAP) was created and implemented in the City of Billings to induce treatment options and jail diversion. She firmly believes we have an incarceration problem in the country, especially as it relates to people of color and to the poor.  She is a long-time advocate of Native American empowerment and of the LGBTQI+ community. 

She is blessed with an incredible son, William, brilliant daughter-in-law, Amanda, precious granddaughter Hattie, powerful daughter, Bronte, and a playful, beautiful husband, Mike.

Nina Hernandez

Children and Youth Director

Nina loves good people, healthy communities and her children, so was fortunate to be given the Children and Youth Director position at First Church, where she can practice all things she loves. 

Nina’s background is in business and program development for nonprofits. She campaigned for large nonprofits in Texas and Montana, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Dallas, Texas. Her Montana roots brought her back to Billings after she and her husband adopted their first child. She worked as the Executive Director for the American Heart Association, as the Marketing and Development Director for Youth Dynamics, and as a consultant, helping small nonprofits with growth and sustainability.

She and her husband Ryan have two children, Gage and Mia, and strive for old houses, downtown communities, and cultural growth for Billings.