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

A Road Filled with Hope

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post, Worrying is Not an Option. When we worry, we are wasting our time and more. I encourage you to read the most for more thoughts on worry.  The antidote to worry is trusting God. On that note, I wanted to share with you the comfort the Lord has […]

Worrying is Not an Option

What if worrying were not an option? What if we had only two options: 1. Trust God 2. Let go of control.   Actually, as part of humankind, we all worry at one time or another. It’s in our nature. But wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could not worry; if we simply could not […]

Video Blog – Breathe

Ever feel like you’re running every which way, trying to keep up? Or maybe those of you that live in the Charleston area right now are trying to run every which way but find yourself just sitting in traffic 😉 God calls us to breathe in His presence constantly, especially when we feel stressed and crazed […]

The Nurturing Love of God

Good morning Making Space for God friends! Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I had a glorious day celebrating my 91-year-old mother. For those of you who know her you are smiling right now saying, “She is one amazing lady!” And for those of you who do not know her, just ask me or my two […]

The Hamster Wheel of Busyness

May is in full swing and I’ve heard it said that “May is the new December.” Just like December fills up with shopping, Christmas parties, holiday activities, etc., May seems to fill up quickly with recitals, end of the year parties, graduation ceremonies and more. While these are all good things, we must recognize when […]

When You Can’t Look Up

Dear Making Space for God friends, today is a follow up on last week’s blog, Look Up Not Down. One of my good friends was describing how she and her husband had been through a frightening and difficult time recently and when she had difficulty looking up to God, her friends helped her to look […]

When God Says No

Today I want to share with you an older blog post that still rings true for us today. You see, we all hear “no” and face our own share of disappointments in our lives. But “no” always leads to God’s greater “yes” out of His infinite love for us. Let’s take a look together… We […]

Look Up Not Down

What a week this has been! My church, St. Andrews Mount Pleasant, burned down a week ago today. If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s blog, here is the link. My week was spent putting out other personal fires and I discovered that I had to move out of my kitchen sooner […]


On Monday, I wrote on my blog about how things can change “In an Instant.” We do not know what each day may hold but we do know who holds our future and that is the Lord Jesus.  Keeping with the message that our Lord holds our future, I want to share with you today an […]