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About Us

Find Love, Hope, and Redemption

Awake Ministries was established when two organizations in Shelbyville, Kentucky with similar goals came together. We knew that by uniting, Open Door of Hope and the Serenity Center food bank could be more effective in serving our community.

We are a non-profit organization that offers services and resources that facilitate lasting recovery from the hurts, habits, and hang ups of life. Every resource that we offer is at no cost to the people that we serve. We are completely reliant on the faithfulness of God and funding from our community to continue in this work.

By offering support where needed, our goal is to encourage and assist members of our community, from children to seniors. It is our privilege to help unite the community in service and purpose, loving and ministering to one another.

Board of Directors

Beth Watts

Board Chair

Beth Watts is originally from central Indiana and has been in education for over 20 years. This calling has allowed her to live on the mission of raising up the next generation of authentic believers and living a life of service to others. She has been married to Bill for over 35 years and they have four adult children and nine grandchildren. After 24 years of military service that included 18 moves, Bill and Beth moved from Washington DC to Shelby County in 2008. They are on mission together to live in God’s grace and actively seek ways to connect people to Jesus and to one another through small groups, and various ministries in the community and around the world. They are members of Southeast Christian Church, Shelby County.

Johnny Pittman


Johnny Pittman is the Workforce Development Officer for Oxmoor Auto Group.  In addition to serving on multiple boards and in organizations on advisory roles, he is the current chair of the Youth subcommittee for the KWIB (Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board).  Johnny’s addiction story is of deliverance and redemption through Christ by grace, and he is excited to serve and witness the real life changes happening through Awake Ministries.  He and his wife Kelley live in Sligo and have been married for 29 years.  Together, they have four children and three granddaughters. 

Tammy Thomas


Tammy Thomas is the Senior VP/Director of Affordable Housing at German American Bank in Shelbyville. With a background in affordable housing for over 35 years, Tammy has a passion for helping others both in their physical and spiritual needs. A native of Monticello (Wayne County), KY, Tammy and her family have lived in Shelbyville since 1990. She and her husband Tony attend Southeast Christian Church, Shelbyville. Their daughter, Madison, lives in Memphis and works as a teacher for special needs adults.

Vicki Porter

Board Member

Victoria is a retired educator, high school principal, and school board member. She established an innovative, ag-based high school in Visalia, California before retiring and moving with her family to Shelby County, Kentucky. She and her husband Howard have been married for 52 years and have three children and twelve grandchildren. When her daughter struggled with addiction, Victoria saw how vitally important Christ-centered, biblically-based recovery programs are, not only to those ensnared by the addiction, but also to their families and communities. She attends Southeast Christian Church and feels privileged to be able to serve the Lord through service on the Awake Ministries board.  

Josh Edwards

Board Member

Josh Edwards is a Shelby County native, who works in real-estate as part of the family-owned business Edwards Development and Management.  He has a passion for helping others.  More specifically, a passion for helping others regarding addiction, as it has touched his life on a personal level.  Josh and his wife Hannah have four young children.  Together they have enjoyed playing a role in the family ministry Paul’s Legacy, where they continue to support the education of girls in rural India.  They are active members of Southeast Christian Church, Shelby County.  Josh has a prayerful desire to positively impact those struggling in his hometown and to show love and hope through Jesus Christ.


Stephanie Dillon

Executive Director

Stephanie’s first experience with Awake Ministries was in 2016 as a volunteer, teaching classes and sponsoring female residents. In 2020 she became the Fundraising Director and then stepped into the Executive Director role in August of 2021. Stephanie is also the Executive Director of Acts Mission, an international missions organization in St. Mary, Jamaica. She is an army veteran, military wife, navy mom, and a mother to twin boys. 

Marcia Mitchum

Director of Operations

Marcia has served in various capacities since joining the Awake Ministries staff in 2017 – Director of Women’s Ministry, Executive Director, and currently works in her gifts as Director of Operations.
She also sits on the stateside board of Acts Mission International, building U.S. partnerships and funding for the ministry of Acts Church in St. Mary, Jamaica.

Marcia and her husband, Gary, are the proud parents of two daughters and Oma and Papaw to five beautiful grandchildren. They attend Southeast Christian Church.

Gerald Sebree

Director of Food Distribution

Before coming onto staff at Awake Ministries, Gerald was a volunteer at our Food Distribution Center for over 13 years. With more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing and human resources, Gerald’s hard work and dedication to community are seen throughout the food bank operations. Gerald is a member of Southeast Christian Church where he serves in numerous capacities.


Chris Banta

Director of Men’s Housing

Chris is a graduate of Henry County High School and attended Lindsey Wilson College. Through his own struggles with addiction, Chris’s passion has become helping others. He finds joy in being able to do that at Awake Ministries, the place where he found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Chris is a member of Drennon Christian Church and is a part of the Emmaus community (walk 167).

Amber Wade

Director of Women’s Housing

In 2016, Amber had an encounter with Yahweh that would change the rest of her life, including leading to her own recovery. Since then, she has helped to plant The Gathering Place in Stanford, KY where she served in leadership and managed outreach for 5 years. She also has 4 years of experience with jail ministry and is a certified Peer Support Specialist. Amber is a single mother of 3 who loves people and wants to help them come to freedom and purpose through a relationship with Jesus. Her background and her personal experiences make her a perfect fit for helping our female residents to walk out their own addiction recovery and to learn their identity in Jesus. 

Bobbi Bledsoe, CSW

Behavioral Health Coordinator

Bobbi is currently working toward her LCSW and works closely with our community partner to coordinate and implement mental health services. As a result of her educational background, she has committed herself to work with individuals, families and communities that have been impacted by substance use and mental health disorders. Bobbi had her own struggles with addiction for twenty years and as a result, God saw fit to allow Bobbi to use her testimony and education to help others be freed from inter-generational trauma. Bobbi’s passion has become helping others to reclaim their lives and rebuild broken family dynamics so the people she serves can be reintegrated back into their communities and help others. Bobbi finds joy in being able to spend time with her family outside of the work that she does in the community.  

Kevin Warford

Ministry Assistant

Kevin Warford served in various volunteer capacities at Awake Ministries before joining the team as a part-time Ministry Assistant. He retired from the Department of Juvenile Justice in 2016 after 38 years of state government service. Kevin serves as a Bible study teacher and as Chairmen of the Deacons at Highland Baptist Church in Shelbyville. He shares life with his wonderful wife, Melinda (Lindy).

Julia Pierce

Social Media Coordinator

Julia Pierce joined the Awake Ministries staff as an assistant in November of 2022. She has a heart for ministry and lives it out as the worship leader for Living Waters Church, as well as being a single mother to three small children. Julia is also a muralist and has enjoyed expanding her mural business, Facing the Wall Murals, in the Shelbyville area. Julia’s first interaction with Awake Ministries was as a volunteer worship leader for Celebrate Recovery prior to 2020. She is using her creativity and background in social media and content development in her primary role on the team. Julia currently manages social media for both Awake Ministries and for The Paddock. She is also a recovery sponsor and teacher.

Sam Beals

General Manager, Awake at the Paddock

Samantha began her journey at Awake Ministries as a client in April of 2019, graduating in December 2019. Since then she has made Shelbyville her hometown, serving the community in many ways. God placed it on her heart to return to where her recovery began to spread the message of freedom and deliverance to others, leading as an example. She is now the general manager of Awake Ministry’s vocational training site, The Paddock coffee shop.  She is an active member of Kingdom House Church and also enjoys volunteering at Father’s Love.