Three days after her twenty-seventh birthday, returning from a planning event for her upcoming wedding – and only one mile from her residence – Hannah was hit and killed instantly in a three-car accident in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, on January 17, 2021.
Most subjects of memorial pieces in The Aquila Report had completed a second, third, or fourth “lap” of their race of faith in the Christian life. Hannah Leigh Ford (1994-2021) was ushered earlier than many into the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom she dearly loved. Three days after her twenty-seventh birthday, returning from a planning event for her upcoming wedding – and only one mile from her residence – Hannah was hit and killed instantly in a three-car accident in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, on January 17, 2021. Her unexpected homegoing recalls the great value of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which responds to question 37 as follows: “The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.” There is much truth and comfort here.
The eldest of eight children of physical therapist and pastor Dr. Tom Ford and his wife, Leigh Hubbard Ford, of Montgomery, Hannah was homeschooled and learned very early the value of an active Christian faith. Drawn to Alabama politics, Hannah served capably on the staffs of several conservative candidates, including a political newcomer, Andrew Sorrell, who in 2018 won election to the Alabama House of Representatives. A former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead, remembered Hannah as “one of the most Christ-like, loving and caring persons one could know,” a sentiment echoed by friends, church members, and loved ones. Armistead continued, “And she was a brilliant political strategist at such a young age who helped . . . many conservatives win election and then advise them on policy issues. Hannah leaves a huge void in the hearts of many, many people.”
Countless friends recall Hannah’s consistently Scripture-filled, joyful, encouraging personal interactions and social media posts. A church member – one among many – remembers Hannah “wanted to be a friend to anyone who might come her way. . . . she loved to volunteer . . . showing her beautiful trait of serving others.” Another friend shares, “She was one of the sweetest souls I have known in this life. She held fast and stood firm in her identity as [a] cherished daughter of The Most High King. . . . She was a sinner, but the new person she was in Christ was nothing short of radiant.” My own family and I wholeheartedly attest to such reflections as well. The many who knew Hannah may take comfort and also find strength for their own race in passages such as Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. . . .”
Hannah’s race was short, but she ran and finished very well with – and for – her Lord Jesus. She is now among that great cloud of witnesses.
Forrest Marion is a ruling elder in Eastwood Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Montgomery, Ala.
 Greg Garrison, “Just engaged, political activist Hannah Ford dies in crash after visit to wedding venue,” AL.com, Jan. 19, 2021; Brandon Moseley, “Political activist Hannah Ford dies in auto accident,” Alabama Political Reporter, Jan. 19, 2021.