Dr. Larry Shelton

Obituary of Dr. Larry P. Shelton

Dr. Larry Paul Shelton, 80, of Salem, Illinois, passed away on September 16, 2023, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, Illinois. Larry was born March 19, 1943, in Cisne, Illinois, the son of Edward Paul and Loreta (Leathers) Shelton. Larry is survived by his wife, Janet Kay Shelton of Salem, daughters Letha Carlson and husband Paul of Belleville, Illinois, and Lana Bertschi of Alton, Illinois. Sisters, Karen (Gary) Watson of Salem and Kathy (Richard) Young of Cisne. Grandchildren Brittney (James) Murray, Taylor (Ryan) Smallwood, Zachary Bertschi and Coty Bertschi. Great grandchildren Bria and Lynkin Murray, Max and Zoey Bertschi. Sisters-in-law Carolyn (Jim) Winters of Canton, Missouri, and Lois Block of Canton, Missouri; and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Paul and Loreta Shelton, Father-in-law and Mother-in-law Wayne and Velma Block, niece Megan Young and great grandson Cooper Smallwood. Larry was born into a Christian home March 19, 1943. He accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at the age of twelve. He has been active in the Southern Baptist church his entire life. He began singing with his family as a child and was in a semi full-time gospel music ministry where he wrote and recorded many gospel songs. He was licensed to the Gospel Ministry by the First Baptist Church of Salem, Illinois in June 1967. Larry was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by Bloom Baptist Church, Flora, Illinois April, Illinois in April 1968. During his 55 years in the ministry, Larry’s pastorate included: Pastor at Bloom Baptist Church, Flora, Illinois from 1967 to 1970; during his ministry at Bloom Baptist Church, the church gained 68 new members during this time, 54 were by baptism. Pastor at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Iuka, Illinois from 1970-1974; during his ministry at Pleasant Grove, attendance rose from 14 to over 200 on an average Sunday, 97 new members were received with 89 by baptism. Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Salem, Illinois from 1974 – 1979; during his ministry at Emmanuel Baptist, the church was listed in the Illinois Baptist Newspaper as being in the top twenty per capita for baptisms in 1979, 117 additions were made during this time with 87 by baptism. A new bus ministry was started, and a weekly radio program was produced. Pastor at Odin First Baptist Church, Odin, Illinois from 1979 – 1988; during his ministry at Odin First Baptist, 115 new members were added with 91 by baptisms. Pastor at Salem Southern Baptist Church, Salem, Illinois from 1988 – 1993; this mission began in a store-front meeting place which was constituted into a church nine months later becoming Salem Southern Baptist Church. During this time, a lot was purchased, and a new church building was erected, 87 new members were added with 47 by baptism. Church Planter for the Illinois Baptist State Association. Interim Pastor Mulberry Grove Baptist Church, Mulberry Grove, Illinois. Interim Pastor St. Elmo First Baptist Church, St. Elmo, Illinois. Pastor Wamac Missionary Baptist Church, Centralia, Illinois from 1994 – 2006; during his ministry at Wamac Baptist Church, attendance grew from approximately 25 per Sunday to 130 new members, with 125 by baptism. Pastor Emmanuel Baptist Church, Salem, Illinois from 2006 – 2021. Larry was blessed to have had 20 young men enter the gospel ministry. He referred to them as his “sons in the ministry.” Larry received his Bachelor of Theology, Master of Biblical Studies, and Doctor of Christian Philosophy through Anchor Theological Seminary. Organizations Larry has participated in the past: Former member of the local Lion’s Club, Former member of the Salem Rotary, Kaskaskia Baptist Association: Moderator; Evangelism Director, and Trustee Charter member of the Greater Area Salem Foundation. Larry also had a love for music, antique cars, writing his Facebook posts, and working around the “Shelton Place.” But most of all, he loved his family. Nothing made him happier than to be with his wife, daughters, and their families. Throughout his ministry and life, his biggest supporter and best friend was his wife, his lady, Janet Kay Shelton. Her love and support were like no other. A Celebration of Life for Dr. Larry P. Shelton will be held at 10:00 am on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at Crouse Funeral Home in Salem with Reverend Mike Fogerson of Chester First Baptist Church officiating. Burial will be in Cisne Cemetery in Cisne, Illinois. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the funeral home in Salem. Memorial contributions can be made to the Family, American Diabetes Association or the American Stroke Association and can be received at Crouse Funeral Home in Salem.
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