Burleson resident appointed by Gov. Abbott to board
A Burleson resident who is the great, great, great niece of one of the heroes of a famous battle for Texas independence is now a member of the board to oversee that battleground.
Shanda Gillaspie Perkins was appointed Gov. Greg Abbott to the San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board for a term set to expire Sept. 1, 2021. The board reviews the policies and operations of the San Jacinto Battleground for the purpose of advising the Parks and Wildlife Commission on the proper historical development of the battleground.
The board may accept, in the name of the state, all bequests, gifts, and grants of money or property made to the battleground and use the bequests for the purpose specified by the grantor, if any. This also applies to the San Jacinto Museum of History Association and Tower.
Perkins’ great great great uncle, Capt. James Gillaspie, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Perkins is a former banker with over 20 years of experience along with certifications, as well as business and public relations. She previously served as ambassador for the Burleson Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the United Way of Johnson County board of directors and Burleson Lions Club. Additionally, she serves on the Texas Health Hospital Advisory Council and as a director of Johnson County Chamber Summit.
Perkins and her husband, Lance, have four adult sons and one adult daughter.
Shanda was raised in Burleson. Her grandmother was Frances Floyd Lewis, whose great, great uncle, Henry C. Renfro, was one of the city’s founders in 1881.
Shanda’s grandfather, Clyde Lewis, and his family arrived in Burleson in 1885 and had a family farm. He served as president of the Burleson school board for nine years.
Her parents, John and Pastor Gloria Gillaspie, still reside in the Burleson area. Pastor Gloria is pastor emeritus of Open Door Church, where she retired four years ago and merged Lighthouse Church and Open Door Church together at the Burleson location under Pastor Troy Brewer.
Shanda’s father, John Gillaspie, is the grand nephew of Capt. James Gillaspie who fought at the battle of San Jacinto with Gen. Sam Houston and served as the superintendent of the Texas State Penitentiary on two separate terms.
Shanda has two brothers (Burleson City Councilman Stuart Gillaspie and Otis Gillaspie, outreach paster at OpenDoor Church) and one sister, Richelle Gillaspie Smithee, who along with her husband, Cory, are pastors in Mansfield at North Elevation Church.