Yesterday we started our second legislative session where I have the honor of leading a weekly Bible study for lawmakers at the Delaware State Capitol. For the past three years, it has been an honor to serve with Capitol Ministries under the leadership of founder, Dr. Ralph Drollinger. He is 7″2 and played for the iconic UCLA Basketball Team under famed coach John Wooden. Ralph went on to the NBA and played for the Dallas Mavericks and after giving his life to Christ the Lord took him from a sports ministry to pouring into some of the world’s most powerful politicians at every level of government from the county level to Commander in Chief and now his Cabinet. He and his bride, Danielle log hundreds of thousands of miles in the air each year and countless others on the ground walking marble floors to minister to Members of Congress and he leads arguably the first ever White House Cabinet Bible Study in over one hundred years.
They say “politics and religion don’t mix” but neither do drinking and driving and sadly millions still do it. Actually politics and ministry can and should mix. The Bible says, “whatever your hand finds to do – do it for God’s glory.” In over 45 state capitols someone from Capitol Ministries is presently helping disciple public servants with counsel, encouragement, prayer and a diet of God’s Word. We are also in nearly 30 countries ministering to leaders with God’s Word. When we touch hearts we can have better legislation. The Bible says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord’s.” The Apostle Paul’s first eight out of eleven converts were political leaders and three of them were governors! Read that again!! Everyone from the pitiful to powerful need a touch and personal encounter with the Lord. The weekly study meets just steps off the House Floor in the State Capitol and it is both Biblical and bi-partisan. Jesus loves everyone and we are doing our best to reach out and let all know they are welcome. One national elected official (D) recently said, “If I keep coming to this study I will probably have to change the way I vote.” One Member of Congress shared, “One of the only times I feel safe in Washington is when attending the weekly Capitol Ministries Bible Study.” Some elected officials do not have a home church and others have shared that they don’t feel like their own pastor is in their corner. We are here to bless those whom are helping steer and shape legislation to millions of citizens. Even encouragers can get discouraged and we are here to lift up their hands and inspire them along the way in their professional duties. Public people often need private motivation and we are all a work in progress.
It is my honor to lead one of the past weekly White House Bible Study devotions and many local and state politicians want to know what the heavy hitters are discussing in Washington. What a JOY to minister to state senators and representatives on a weekly basis and thankful for our friends, Rev Morris Webster, Pastor Robert Dekker, Pastor Chris Dito and others who are leading the satellite studies. We now have NINE small groups meeting at the same time all over the state praying for us, writing notes of encouragement to the lawmakers and reading the same Bible study lesson while I am in the state capitol ministering to public servants. Dr. Charles Spurgeon had a team of folks under the pulpit and out of sight praying for God to give him power as he preached. It is so comforting to know we have the same fire power with loved ones praying for both the politicians and me. When out of session the lawmakers are encouraged to drop in and connect with their constituents in their respective district at one of those satellite studies. It has been a win-win for all and I am so thankful for this team collaboration and God is moving in hearts and minds. Leadership is both lovely and lonely and knowing others are praying on your behalf is crucial and helpful. Dr. Ralph Drollinger invited me last year to attend one of the White House Cabinet Bible Studies in Washington and I was invited back two weeks ago at The White House to attend another important meeting. Watch the video link below of what Secretary of Energy and former Texas Governor Rick Perry said on C-Span what the Capitol Ministries Bible Study means to him. Watch that interview HERE
My family are sixth generation Washingtonians and my parternal ancestor hand carried President Abraham Lincoln across the street the night of the assassination. My maternal ancestor had a hand (literally) in planting the world famous Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin that one million visitors enjoy each Spring! My great grandmother lived nine doors down from JFK & Jackie Kennedy when he was a senator living in Georgetown and then in 1960 moved down the street to a larger home when becoming President (WH). My Dad was a fifth generation DC cop in law enforcement and retired as Acting Assistant Chief of the United States Capitol Police. Today with nearly a half billion dollar budget and 3,000 sworn officers and staff he was number two in command when he retired. He protected SIX United States Presidents and various heads of state. The Shelton’s have helped protect over 25 U.S. Presidents dating back to President Lincoln. Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) went to the junior prom with my Aunt Barbara in 1957 at Suitland High. Today he is the second most powerful person in Congress as House Majority Leader. My cousin married former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) son. He was at the top during President Clinton’s and Speaker Newt Gingrich tenure. It is a small world and Frank lives and loves to bless both camps. Frank’s mother, Sharon was born on the Fourth of July and she worked the US Capitol Historical Society and she thought she was going to birth him in the Halls of Congress. He was born on Capitol Hill on President’s Weekend (1972). His son, Andrew Lincoln Shelton was born on Inauguration Day the very hour Obama became President. Some come to work to Washington and then a few may have been born to work there. Only God could have wrote this script but my identity is in God not government but we need both. Jesus said, “render to Ceasar’s what is his.”
In 1995, I was tapped to work as a bi-partisan figure on the floor of the United States Senate. I served half the day with the Democratic side of the aisle and the other half with the Republican side. Out of 5,500 U.S. Senate staff only three worked on the floor to ensure protocol and assist personally some of the world’s most powerful politicians. They tell me I was the youngest in modern memory to be picked by the Senate Sergeant at Arms to get that appointment. I was 23 years old then and served all 100 US Senators daily from Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS). I learned in grade school math – what you do to one side you must do to the other side. In three decades of interacting in various political capacities I have been blessed to serve and be on staff with both political parties. I have learned life and leadership lessons from both sides and I do not have a dog in the fight. More than ever I am not waiving a political flag but helping others find solace in the banner of Christianity. Plus, I made up my mind long ago to have more than one political party at my funeral. The Apostle Paul was ALL things to all men to win some. If you would like to partner us to help make an eternal impact you can write a tax deductible gift to “CAPITOL MINISTRIES” and in subject kindly write Frank Shelton – DE. You can mail to either CAPITOL MINISTRIES – PO Box 30994 Phoenix, AZ or CAPITOL MINISTRIES c/o Frank Shelton, PO Box 742, Waldorf, MD 20604. Together, we can make a WORLD of difference. Please pray for these wonderful public servants and their family and staff respectively. Write a note of encouragement to your local leaders today. Anyone can draft hate mail but try writing a note of encouragement.
In closing, eight years ago my supervisor, Dr. Ralph Drollinger was leading a Congressional Bible Study. In that group was a relatively unknown U.S. Rep. Mike Pence from Indiana, U.S Rep Mike Pompeo and a few faithful. Since this Administration over eight of the Cabinet was hand picked from those attending the Bible study years ago. Those individuals are now among the most powerful politically in the world as VPOTUS and Secretary of State. I have preached for years that if you serve God in private He has an uncanny way to promote you in public. It is not always PC to live for JC but when we honor the Lord – He will always bless us. I have come to deeply respect scores of national level leaders I have met but most certainly the wonderful, selfless and hard working men and women at the Dover State Capitol. They are winners and it is an honor to be their friend and share God’s Word with them. Please keep us all in prayer. Even ministers and public servantsneed prayer and truthfully more not less. Praise the Lord and all glory to God.
Connections over the Years
WH North Lawn
WH South Lawn – POTUS Obama
WH Press Room – West Wing
President Jimmy Carter & Rosalyn – Plains, GA
President Clinton, VP Gore @ US Capitol – 1993
WH South Lawn
NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer
Enjoy more pics on Frank’s Instagram @FrankSheltonJr