Happy Hill Farm co-founder Ed Shipman dies

Charles Edward “Ed” Shipman, the co-founder of Happy Hill Farm and North Central Texas Academy in Granbury, passed away at home on Aug. 22, 2016. He was 83.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at Travis Avenue Baptist Church, 800 W. Berry St. in Fort Worth, with Rev. Lucas Shipman and Dr. Michael Dean officiating.

Memorials may be made to Happy Hill Farm, 3846 North Highway 144, Granbury 76048.

Shipman and his wife of 62 years, Gloria, opened the academy in 1975 at Happy Hill Farm, their 500-acre working farm-campus located 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth. NCTA is a fully-accredited private day school, a boarding school and an international school that provides opportunities like a university but on a K-12 level. The academy prepares students for university life educationally, socially and physically. Students are taught from a Christian worldview.

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“NCTA is dedicated to academic excellence. We want our students to be able to go to the finest universities, if that’s where God leads them, and to equip each one with the knowledge they need to achieve their highest potential,” Shipman told the Fort Worth Business Press in 2015.

“We are also dedicated to cultivating the spiritual virtues our young people need as they prepare to become leaders in their families, churches and communities,” he said. “As Peter put it, we want them to develop unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.”

Shipman’s goal of the past two years was to help raise a permanent fund to further bolster Happy Hill Farm’s ability to provide children with a college preparatory education and the training necessary to produce men and women with compassion and character. This portion of the ministry has been handed down to his grandson, Lucas Shipman, who has served as campus pastor for the past several years.

Happy Hill Farm has created “The Ed Shipman Legacy Fund” to further continue his vision. Gifts made in his memory will go into a permanent fund to help support North Central Texas Academy and the next generations of children who need this boarding school.

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Shipman was born on Nov. 7, 1932, to Laura Pierce and Martin Lee Shipman, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C., majoring in Bible/philosophy. He met his wife, Gloria McClintock, in college. They were married in January 1954.

Shipman later enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, majoring in theology. During his years in seminary, he was pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church outside Cleburne for several years. He worked at the Fort Worth Press on the advertising staff for five years while attending the seminary. He later became the director of public relations for Columbia International University for a year. Upon returning to Fort Worth, he served as director of promotion for the Southern Baptist Radio-TV Commission for 12 years. He then left to join a group of business friends as the director of a small Christian foundation. During these years, he also was pastor of a rural church near Glen Rose for 10 years.

Ed and Gloria became the parents of two sons: Charles Edward “Chuck” Shipman Jr. and Todd Leigh Shipman. Both of their sons lead the ministry of Happy Hill Farm.

The Rotary Club in Fort Worth gave Shipman the Paul Harris Fellow award in 1985. That same year, he was presented with a Special Congressional Recognition Award for service to children by Rep. Dick Armey. In 1990, Texas Gov. William P. Clements Jr. sent him congratulations for “admirable and worthwhile work” with young people in the state of Texas, and Barbara and President George Bush sent him congratulations for his outstanding record of community service. He was given the Distinguished Alumnus award from Columbia International University in February 1995. In 2003, he received one of President George Bush’ Daily Points of Light for “acts of generosity and community action to which all people should aspire.”

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He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Lee Newsom. Survivors include his wife, Gloria Shipman; sons, Chuck Shipman and wife, Janie, and Todd Shipman and wife, Linda; grandchildren Amanda Schwausch and husband, Steven, Lucas Shipman and wife, Natalie; Katherine Shipman, Sarah Kwidzinski and husband, Scott, and Caleb Shipman; great-grandchildren, Leah Schwausch, Max Shipman and Piper Shipman; sister, Shirley Odom, of Charleston, S.C.; sister-in-law, Ruth McClintock, of St. Louis, Mo.; sister-in-law, Brenda McClintock, of Arlington, Texas; six nieces, Lisa Ober-Schleicher, Kristin Ober, Kelly Albrecht, Allison Carroll, Colleen McClintock, Cathleen McCown and husband, Paul; and Tammy Eidem and Sandy of Charleston, S.C.