Kathryn Elizabeth Whitlow Shelton graced the garden of life and the Providence community on March 3, 1925, to her parents, Delbert and Mary Louise Pratt Whitlow. She was the sister to Thelma Whitlow Burnley, who survives her, Nannie Bailey, Heloise Fitzgerald, Rev. Roy, Thomas, and Harold Whitlow who preceded her in death.
Mother Shelton’s acceptance of Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age afforded her a plethora of platforms for service throughout her lifetime of work at Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church. Serving faithfully under the pastorates of the late Rev. S. H. Simpson and Rev. H. Bruce Maxwell, Mother Shelton provided guidance and spiritual leadership roles in the following ministries: advisor to the Junior Ushers and Junior Choir in their formative years, teacher and secretary for the Sunday School, and teacher of the New Members Class. She garnered spiritual development and growth through membership in the following: Larry Thompson Ministry (President Emeritus), Seniors Ministry, Jail Ministry, Ushers Ministry, and Stones River District Association Ushers Ministry (former President). Her many years of collaboration and hours of study with Deacon Flem, Pastor Maxwell and others impacted those who attended the Baptist Training Union (BTU) on Sunday evenings.
Attending the schools of Davidson County (Haynes High), she received academic skills that provided career readiness which includes domestic work, clerk for Capital Cleaners, and childcare provider for Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mother Shelton’s compassion and love grew for children and families causing her to open a daycare. She, along with her husband, opened their home with services that catered to the needs of families, before care, aftercare, all daycare, and occasional night care. They even provided transportation to and from school. Along with meals, snacks, and educational support, the Shelton daycare offered love, encouragement, and comfort. She also attended a sewing class at Pearl High School with her son, Michael where he also developed his sewing ability. There she met an endearing friend, Darine Davis, and other lifelong friends.
Through almost 68 years of marriage to Curtis Shelton, who expired May 10, 2017, six children were born, Cora, Frank, Wanda, Rochelle, Michael, and Terence (deceased). Mother Shelton valued education and knew that reading was truly fundamental. She read to the children every night which include bible stories that provided a foundation for their Christian journey. Homework assignments were always completed sometimes with a little “encouragement”. Her labor was not in vain, resulting in each child graduating from high school. Her academic development was also extended to grandchildren, nieces, nephews.
Adorning the vestibule of Lake Providence each Sunday were the “bench greeters”. Known for her “silver crown” and friendly demeanor, Mother Shelton along with other lifelong members greeted those attending the worship service. The continuous growth of the congregation afforded her to witness four church expansion projects. As one of the oldest two members, she was privileged to participate in the mortgage-burning celebration of the current edifice.
Praising God for her matriarchal efforts and expressions of love are five generations who celebrate her transition from the earthly dwelling on Providence Heights to Greater Heights. Commemorating her life and legacy are her children, Pastor Cora (Robert) Alston, Frank Shelton, Wanda Brown, Rochelle Shelton, and Michael (Valerie) Shelton; grandchildren, Katina (Thomas), LaWanda, Angela, Adrian, Annessia (Mike), Keith, Eugene, Brian and Brandon; 26 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren; sister, Thelma Burnley; sisters-in-law, Essie Shelton and Mamie Shelton; 1st cousins, Rev. Samuel (Betty) Whitlow, Sr., Jennie Petway Holt, Marie Babb, Aubrey (Frances) Pratt, Linda Pratt, Ronald (Barbara) Pratt, David Pratt, Kenneth Pratt; endearing friends, Darine Davis, Erma Bracey, Mother Mary Goins, Alexine Patton, Juanita Brown and Jessie Brown ; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and the Lake Providence Church family. Viewing Friday, July 9, 2021, 1-6pm at funeral home. Viewing Saturday, July 10, 2021, 10-11:30 a.m. at Lake Providence Baptist Church 5891 Nolensville Rd. Social Distancing enforced.