As only the third Bible Baptist Church pastor in 44 years, the Rev. Aaron Duane Shipman approaches his ministry with a sense of tradition bolstered by experience in a variety of settings.
Citing his favorite scripture, Jude 1:24, which says Jesus Christ “is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,” Shipman said his background as a pastor’s son and in starting a church near Seattle, Wash., taught him that every church has its own personality.
“I’m a southern boy,” he said. “Most churches in the South have been there for a long time and have rigid ways. The Seattle area is very different, and the number one thing I learned is that every church is not the same.”
Explaining that the people in Kent, Wash., where he started a church and stayed for six years, were very reserved, Shipman said he went there because his father Darvin was a pastor in Seattle before retiring in Kansas City. His mom’s name is Lorita.
Shipman is a 40-year-old Pasadena, Texas, native who graduated from high school in Little Rock, Ark., attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City and Louisiana Baptist University in Shreveport and was an associate pastor in Cocoa, Fla. He and his wife Amanda have four sons. He has three brothers and two sisters.
His 2801 Iola Dr. church was opened by the Rev. James Channell, who served for 20 years and still teaches the adult Sunday school. Channell was succeeded by the Rev. John Lyons, who was pastor for 21 years until Shipman preached his first sermon on Oct. 12, 2014, when 22 people attended. The church now averages 150 to 180 at its 11 a.m. Sunday services.
The Shipmans’ faith was tested four months before they reached Odessa when their 12-year-old son Joshua died in a traffic accident near Greenville, being the only member of the family to be seriously hurt. They’d left Kent and were at Desdemona, 75 miles east of Abilene, while Amanda successfully sought treatment for Gaucher’s disease, a blood disorder that causes anemia.
“Those were some of the darkest hours we ever went through,” the minister said. “For a couple of years, I grabbed ahold of the word of God and read more than I ever read in my life. I read Job 63 or 64 times because Job teaches you to stay in love with the Lord during troubled times.
“I had one casket, but Job had 10. It comforted me that if Job, a man of God, could go through losing 10 kids, then by the grace of God I could deal with losing Joshua.”
The Rev. Ed Oster of Lewisville said Shipman “is a kind, generous man who has been a good pastor for a long time.
“If you have a need, Aaron will do whatever he can to take care of you and your needs,” Oster said. “He is a really good preacher. If you want to hear some good Bible preaching, he will do that for you.”