Joanne Ellison

Founder & Director

Founder of national nonprofit Drawing Near to God based in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Joanne Ellison teaches women to make space for God so that God’s presence keeps them from being overwhelmed with life.

Driven by a vision to motivate women to pursue a deeper relationship with God, Ellison founded Drawing Near to God in 2000 and has since reached tens of thousands of women through Christian radio, blogging, social media, her weekly Bible study, livestreaming, speaking, books, CDs and DVDs. She is the author of over 20 Bible study guides, the popular 365-day Bible devotional, Drawing Near To God, Sitting at His Feet devotional and Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.

She is a mother of three, grandmother of 11 and has been married for 45 years to Dr. Blount Ellison. Making her home in the Charleston area for most of her life, Ellison is a graduate of the College of Charleston and an active member of Saint Andrew’s Church, Mount Pleasant, SC.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and traveling with her husband.

Ellison is an engaging speaker, writer and Bible teacher. Her speaking style includes both vulnerability and humor and is rooted in her passion for the Bible. She often incorporates stories about her children, grandchildren and travels into her teachings – cycling through Portugal and Copenhagen as well as hiking mountains all over the States have provided many challenges and adventures!

Teaching & Worship Experience
Speaking Engagements

Joanne’s Blog

What’s On Your Mind?

One of my favorite Scriptures is: How a man thinks so He is. (Proverbs 23:7) So what’s on your mind? Because according to this Scripture, our thoughts impact the way that we live. Pondering this I decided to take inventory on my thoughts today. I became acutely aware that my God thoughts (thoughts in agreement […]

Believing in the Bigger Story

Last week,  I shared with you some notes from my introduction to Ruth & Esther, and how we’re all part of the Bigger Story.  Here is a recap of those notes: Our life counts for something bigger than just our life Our life in Christ becomes part of the bigger story of the story of […]

Crisis is Revealing

This last week in preparation for a Category 5 hurricane we all witnessed some amazing things. We were able to see how resilient and strong people really are. Currently as I am writing this blog, Florida is being hit on all sides and the weather channel is describing the catastrophic results. But here is what […]

The Bigger Story

Today was a wonderful day – women from all over Charleston gathered together for fellowship, worship, prayer and teaching as we began a study of Ruth and Esther. Today was just an introduction and next week we’ll dive into an overview of Ruth – it’s never too late to join! In fact, there are 3 […]

The Harvest is Plentiful…

Today is Labor Day. Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the prosperity and well being of the country. For many Americans, Labor Day also marks the beginning of the school year […]

Peace Like a River

Earlier this week I talked about how Peace and Joy are Not Options. Rather, Jesus pours His peace into us through His Holy Spirit. With that theme in mind, I want to share with you this entry from my Sitting at His Feet devotional. For those of you who follow my blog, you may know […]

Peace and Joy are Not Options

Today’s subject on Making Space Mondays is based on the Scripture Romans 14:17: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  What strikes me in this Scripture is that as believers, a part of God’s kingdom, we cannot opt out of kingdom […]

Guest Post – From Death to Life

Today I want to share with you a guest post from a friend of my daughter’s, Caroline Reynolds. Caroline teaches 2nd grade in Greenville. When she isn’t educating the youth of America or babysitting, she can probably be found going for a long run, at a Clemson athletic event, maybe reading a book, or hanging out […]

The Eclipse God Moment

Today marks a historic event– the solar eclipse. For our nation, this will be the first coast to coast total eclipse in 99 years (1918). Additionally, it will be the first total solar eclipse of its kind for the US since 1776 when we became a nation. The path 67 miles wide from Oregon to […]