Hannah Parrish walks into Lakeland, her calm nature and maturity belying her youth. Dressed in a classic black sweater and matching black and white sneakers, the gentle smile she shares with the interview team provides a glimpse into the young woman who donates a great deal of her time to helping with Lakeland’s youth.

Hannah sits down on the couch, soft-spoken but excited to share her story with our interview team. When asked about how long she’s been a part of the church, her grin lights up her face.

“So I’ve been coming to Lakeland for three years and my first year I was an intern. I learned a lot from everyone on staff.”

She pauses and tucks a dark lock of hair behind her ear.

“I was struggling with who I was and who I thought God was and that was hard,” she shares. “But, they just allowed me to feel that way and gave me a safe space to ask questions and that it was okay to not have all the answers or be certain.” Her smile returns, happy and confident. “I definitely grew more that first year then I ever thought imaginable.”

She looks around at the team assembled, her eyes crinkling at the corners.

You guys are my family.”


About My Stories

Every month Pastor Marta Gillilan and members of the Lakeland Social Media Team interview an individual, couple or family. From struggles in faith to joyful events, Lakelanders are sharing their stories through the “Humans of Lakeland” blog series. Get to know the people who call Lakeland home.