Sam Ellyson - Pastor/Elder


Sam Ellyson has been a Pastor at Sovereign Grace Church since 2011. Sam is a South Dakota native who grew up in Watertown. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies at the University of Sioux Falls. He completed his Master of Divinity Degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Sam spends much of his time at SGC laboring in preaching, teaching, and biblical counseling.  He and his wife Laura are blessed with four children. Sam enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and archery with family and friends. He is also an enthusiast of storms.

Preaching/sermons/books that changed Sam's life:

  • Preaching and Preachers by Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones
  • Sermons by Paul Washer, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and John Piper


Scott Ristau - Pastor/Elder


Scott Ristau has been a pastor at Sovereign Grace since 2012. A native of southern and central Minnesota, he is the husband to Amy and father to three wonderful children. Scott attended South Dakota State University where he completed degrees in Communication Studies in 2009 and 2011. He attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he completed a Master of Divinity in 2019. Besides biblical and theological studies, Scott enjoys all varieties of music, South Dakota and Minnesota topography, and quality time with family and friends.

Books (besides Holy Scripture) that changed Scott’s life:

  • Knowing God by J.I. Packer
  • The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
  • Desiring God by John Piper



Pastors/Elders at Sovereign Grace Church all affirm our Elder Statement of Faith.