Hannah Shipley

Hannah Shipley

Downtown Fellowship Kids Director

I was born here in Memphis on August 23rd, 1981 and grew up on a quaint farm in, what was then, rural Olive Branch, MS.  I grew up in church from the time I was a baby.   We attended a very small Baptist church in Olive Branch until the late 1980s and then we joined Bellevue Baptist Church in the early 90’s.  As a young person, I was very involved with youth activities within the church.  One of my fondest memories growing up was going on “tour” with the youth choir every summer.  We would take trips all over the country, stopping along the way to sing in different churches as well as taking part in helping with community projects.  I really felt like we made a difference in peoples lives just by being in community with them, even if it was just for a short time.

After graduating as a Senior from Olive Branch High School, my family sold our small farm and uprooted and moved to Orlando, FL, where we lived for the next 8 years.  Shortly after getting settled in Orlando, I felt distant from the Lord and from everything I held dear to me, so I began living life on my own terms.  I disregarded everything I knew to be true and felt that it was more important for me to go surfing on Sundays than to go to church with my family.  The Lord gave me a grand wake-up call when, one day, I found myself in the hospital having emergency surgery to have my left ovary removed due to a massive 6lb. cyst.  It was only after having that surgery that I realized that the Lord MUST have me here for His purposes and that HE is in control, not me.

Little did I know that I had already met my husband when I was about 10 years old while my family was attending Bellevue.  The Lord orchestrated a re-connection between us around 2007 while I was still living in Orlando, and we decided to get married shortly afterward in August of 2008, which brought be back to Memphis.  We had only been married a short time when we found out we were pregnant with our first child.  While pregnant with him, we began attending Fellowship Memphis when they were located at Chrichton College on Highland.  I remember being in service on a Sunday morning and praying over my unborn child and remembering my own youth & how I strayed from the Lord and how I so badly wanted to be the best mother & role model I could be.  I then heard the Lord say, “You can’t do this without Me.”  It was then that I realized that I needed to allow him to have complete access to my life and that it wasn’t really my life… It was His.

I started serving with Fellowship Kids when my son (Noah) was only 6 months old.  Since then, I have continued to serve with Fellowship Kids Downtown and I am currently serving as one of the Downtown Children’s Director.  I have loved watching the children grow up while being nurtured in Gods love, and I am so very grateful for the amazing opportunity that the Lord has given me to be able to walk along side these children and their families.  It is now when we are to plant the seeds that will be cultivated as they grow older & are drawn nearer to Him.

Derek and I have been living in Memphis and married for 8 years now and have one son, Noah (6) and we are expecting our second in Mid April of 2017!