Sister Shelby had a heart for the poor and with a valued resume behind her founded in 1985 the 41st Street Child Care Center. This organization worked for 17 years with families from all socio-economic backgrounds and in the midst of serving the children, Sister Shelby was known for making a difference in the lives of parents especially those from generational poverty. Her venue was not only a loving affordable haven for children but a place where distraught parents (mainly single mothers) needing attention found an intimate rapport of Spiritual compassion. With these struggling parents she prayed faithfully and shared steps to wholistic victory; advice that led to stability, choices and a future. In striving to break generational poverty, two important transitional concerns (child care and adult discipleship) were met and lives changed, changed from what she termed “welfare to fairing well”. This valued ministry to families was a way-of- life initiative accomplished by Sister Shelby and her staff with key staff always including her children. And now, by God’s grace that 41st Street Child Care Center is the 41st Street Family Care Center, Inc with Sister Shelby’s legacy continuing… God is so good!
My name is Deborah Maize and Sis. Shelby is my mother. I am in full-time Christian service under Cru (formally Campus Crusade for Christ) and have had the privilege of serving under this umbrella for the past 34 years. I am presently the director of our organization’s urban ministry here in Louisville- known as Cru-Inner City and have ministered as such for the past 22 years. Upon my initial return to Louisville, I and other Cru- Inner City staff, especially Robin VanderWerf, were granted the privilege of serving under Sis. Shelby for a few years and it was during this time that God gave the vision!
After God gave the vision, my co-worker Robin VanderWerf and I were granted the permission to pull away from Cru to devote time and energy necessary for its initial development. From day one my sister Andrea Barbour, committed board members, volunteers and financial donors not only worked diligently but invested “over and above” for the glory of God! The present site is just across the street from where Sis. Shelby began; it’s paid for, awesome in beauty and ready for use! Andrea Barbour is the executive director and as Cru-Inner City staff, Robin and I, view it as one of our precious ministry sites!
At 78 years of age Sis. Shelby “Graduated into Glory” on Mother’s Day 2005. “This field calls for service” she was known for quoting, “I’m gonna serve a little while and I’m going Home.” She’s gone and her legacy lives on...