When We Met Frank and Linda

I  know that when people hear me start in on Katrina stories they do their best to hide their expression that says “Oh no, not again!” I understand. But I have a reason to revisit this story. 

Katrina hit August 29, 2005. Unforgettable date for anyone who lived there at the time. Our home was flooded but also our church building just a block away. There were several people who worked hard at the church building to clean up. There was no power…it was late August… hot and nasty work. And of course we were thinking about when we might be able to gather as a church again. One day I went out back and there was a red and white tent set up. It was a total surprise to me, and a welcome one. David White at one time had been a deacon at Orange Grove Church of Christ in Gulfport was now a deacon at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville where he and his family lived. David, as I understand it, was doing relief work on the Coast and had the tent set up.

The next Sunday we had folding chairs and had tried to pass the word around as best as we could that we would have a time of worship. No one had cars (they had flooded) and there was no electricity… no cell towers for calls … so we didn’t know who would be there. People from the surrounding neighborhood walked up to the tent for worship. It was quite an experience. Later we stored all kinds of supplies under that tent and people would drive by and tell us what they needed and we would put it in their trunk. 

David wasn’t through helping us and in time arranged for my family to come to Nashville to visit with a missions committee and perhaps to speak to the Brentwood Hills church about what we were doing. That was a rare privilege, as it was impressed on me that they do not usually allow basically unknown guests to get up like that. Thanks to David and the leadership there we were able to share the mission on the Coast. We also enjoyed a wonderful reception the night before. We stayed in the home of another Deacon, Frank Shelton.

(As an aside, it was also on this trip that I met another amazing person, Joe Dudney, which I wrote about HERE.)

Frank and Linda were wonderful hosts. They were very warm and inviting and we felt at home. Frank showed an interest in John Robert and showed him a prized Mustang convertible he had. We took some pictures in it and then Frank took us on a drive through the Lipscomb University campus. It was so much fun and quite a reprieve from the hard work going on back on the Coast. The Sheltons had a condo on Kentucky Lake and told us we could stay there anytime it was available. We did that once, and it was a beautiful time away.

Over the years Frank kept in touch via email and shared with me some of the mission works that were close to his heart. I knew that he was battling lung cancer for the past few years. Last night Frank won his battle and now is with the Lord. I don’t think any of us know exactly how God has things worked out on the other side, but I hope that Frank and John Robert can take a spin in a Mustang again. 

In the rubble of our post-Katrina world there were many bright encouragers. Frank and Linda, and David, shine strongly through those dark days because they loved with the love of the Lord. 

Here are the arrangements for Frank Shelton’s service:
Visitation will be held at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, June 23rd from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 24th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ on Saturday, June 24th at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
Union Health Foundation, Frank and Linda Shelton Scholarship Fund
Union Health Foundation
1606 North 7th Street
Terre Haute, Indiana 47804

Brentwood Hills Church of Christ (memo: in memory of Frank Shelton) for
the Bright Angels Christian Academy in Oduwo, Kenya.
Brentwood Hills Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37220

or by visiting: brentwoodhills.org

There was an Army of Volunteers. I See that Frank and Linda are on this partial list of people who helped us. (LINK)

Thanks for reading. JD


  1. God sends angels at the perfect time! He sent them here to FL to provide for my sister & Mom when they evacuated here from Katrina. Great post, love the pics of John Robert.

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