Shannon and Kristi Hopkins met in high school at First Baptist Church Gordon, Texas. In 2000 Shannon and Kristi married. They have 3 kids, Tyler, Emma and Isabella. Before serving in Honduras, the Hopkins served in youth ministry for 10 years. Throughout this time they have participated in various mission trips all over the world. It was on one of these trips that they went on a vision trip to Gracias, Honduras. They left with a calling to go live and serve God and the people of Honduras. Both Shannon and Kristi were called to the mission field before they were married but God also confirmed this calling as a couple. After much prayer and seeking the guidance of their closest peers, colleagues, and family that they surrendered to the call. The Hopkins founded 61 Isaiah Ministries and moved to Gracias, Lempira in 2011.
In September 2009, the Hopkins formed 61 Isaiah Ministries and began raising support. They left the U.S. December 28, 2010 to attend Language School in Costa Rica. In June 2011 they moved to Gracias, Lempira, Honduras.
Mission Team Coordinator
Frank Wardlow joined the 61 Isaiah Ministries team in January 2015. He is from Port Lavaca, TX, but has lived in the Waco area for the past 15 years. He graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor's degree in Religion. He is also a member of Taylor's Valley Baptist Church in Temple, TX where he volunteered his time working with the youth group. Frank has always had a heart for missions and had the opportunity to visit Honduras for the first time in the summer of 2013. In 2014, Frank was invited to join the 61 Isaiah Ministries Team as one of the Mission Team Coordinators. Now in Honduras, Frank also serves as the youth minister at a local church in Gracias called Rio De Dios. Frank truly feels his calling is in Honduras and looks forward to what God has in store for him in the future.
Mission Team Coordinator
Melyssa Cardenas was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. In 2012, she moved to Waxahachie, TX to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University, where she graduated with a bachelors degree in Church Ministries and a minor degree in Marriage and Family Counseling in December 2014. While in Waxahachie, Melyssa served at her church, Waxahachie Bible Church. She served as the Spanish Ministry Assistant for four months, then served as the youth intern for one year. Melyssa has always had a passion of working with Latinos and with youth. In July 2014, she had the opportunity to visit Honduras for the first time on a short-term mission trip with Waxahachie Bible Church. It was on that trip that she fell in love with the people and the country of Honduras. She joined the 61 Isaiah Ministries team in January 2015, and has been working as one of the Mission Team Coordinators. She has also been helping start children’s ministries in the villages that 61 Isaiah works with, and she gets to be a part of a youth group that her teammate, Frank, leads at a local church in Gracias. Melyssa has a heart for the women and children here. She loves to build relationships with them and show them the love of Jesus. It is her hope that as she builds relationships with the people of Honduras, they will enter and grow in the greatest relationship of all, with their Creator.
Edith is 18 years old and from Gracias, Honduras where she lives with her parents and 2 siblings. At the age of seven, she received a scholarship to attend and then graduated from Abundant Life Christian School. This school is where she met the Hopkins, who she had as her Bible and Family Living teachers. She began working with their team as a babysitter and translator in 2014. Here is her story in her words, "I saw how happy my people were with us just being there, kids playing with people that didn’t know their language but that not being an obstacle for them to enjoy their time together, and people walking in the rain to have a church service with the ‘’gringos.” But what impressed me the most was going back to those villages a year later and seeing the people with joy in their eyes, welcoming us as if we were a part of their family. With experiences like this, I started developing a need in my heart to keep doing this. I started praying about it and I had many ideas, but finally I decided that since God gave me the gift of knowing a second language, it is so that I can use it for His glory. " She officially joined our team in August 2016.
McCayla Fleming was born and raised in Peaster, TX. She grew up attending her church today, the Church in Peaster, where she was very involved in the children’s and youth ministries. She moved to Dallas to attend Dallas Baptist University, where she graduated with a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2017. In March of 2015, she attended her first mission trip to Honduras with the Avenue Church and returned with them the following year. After those two short-term missions, she interned with 61 Isaiah for a month in the summer of 2016. It was during that internship that the Lord called her to return to Honduras for a longer period of time. McCayla desires to serve people in any way she is able to. It is with a glad and expectant heart that she gets to see what God will do through the relationships she builds here.
Cathy Knouse was born and raised in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. In 1978 she married Ron Knouse, and in 1980 she moved to Texas. She has one son, Dixon, who is a nurse in Lewisville. Cathy and her husband Ron live in Teague, Texas and have for 23 years. Cathy is an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Teague. She has worked for Texas Children’s Hospital and Citizens National Bank. She currently works at Limestone Medical Center in Groesbeck as the administrative assistant. Cathy also enjoys working with other non-profit organizations like 61 Isaiah Ministries assisting with their financial bookkeeping needs. Cathy joined the 61 Isaiah team in October, 2014. For fun, Cathy likes to read, watch the Dallas Stars, bake and vacation at the beach.
Board of Directors
Cliff Watson has been associated with 61 Isaiah Ministries since 2011 and has served as president of the board since that time. Cliff and his wife Janet have been married for 30 years and have three daughters, a son and daughter-in-law. They are both graduates of Texas Tech University and live near Terrell, Texas. Cliff is a mechanical engineer and works in the electric power generation business.
My name is Phil Immicke. I entered into the ministry in 2003 after serving in the US Navy. I married the love of my life in 2005, and in 2007 was blessed with a beautiful little girl. I graduated from Dallas Baptist University where I earned a degree in Christian Ministries with a concentration in Youth and Education ministries. I am currently serving in a bi-vocational role at First Baptist Church of West and in law enforcement. I have served on the board of 61 Isaiah since 2014 and have made several trips to Honduras quickly falling in love with the Lenca people. I am honored to serve on this board and I’m looking forward to seeing God work in an amazing way.
My name is Rusty Johnson. I have been on the 61 Isaiah ministry board since the board's inception. I am a member of First Baptist Church in West, Texas where I currently serve as a deacon and youth Sunday school teacher. I have also been teaching AWANA’s for children at FBC West. I lead a Coaches Outreach bible study for the coaches of West ISD. I own a small construction company and specialize in dirt work. I have been married for 22 years to my wife Michelle and have been blessed with 2 children, Brooke, 17 and Preston 14. I am thankful to be a part of 61 Isaiah Ministry and have enjoyed seeing relationships strengthened in Honduras in order to bring God glory and minister to the people of this country.
Don has been happily married to Lora for 24 years. They have 2 girls and one son in law, Maddison, Kyndal and her new husband JT. He currently is an employee of Pactiv, a Reynold’s company. He works as a process technician in the EPS cups side. He is a former employee of Hoot Johnson Construction,former marine, student minister and camp director. Don serves as a deacon at FBC West and teaches a Sunday school class called “Coffee and Camo.” He has a strong desire for discipleship where people transition from learners to followers of Christ. Don has been on the 61 Isaiah Ministry board since 2011 at it’s beginning stages.
Michael has served as a pastor for 12 years in 2 different churches in North Central Texas. He and his wife Terri have been married for over 16 years, and were able to adopt their daughter Faith in 2010 as a newborn. Michael used to work on staff with Shannon while the Hopkins were still newlyweds. Michael has been to Honduras 3 times, working with a church in San Isidro. In 2015, the Joneses moved to Tyler, TX so Michael could receive training to become a Hospital Chaplain.
Barbara (Gram) Carter is an original board member of Isaiah 61 ministries. Barbara was a pastor’s wife for 38 years and was always active in missions while serving in WMU, mission trips and various mission positions. After retiring from Wharton ISD, Barbara moved to Teague, Texas and has continued to be active in missions while serving at First Baptist Church. Barbara also enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters, Grayson and Gabby.