Eric Shelander

Eric Shelander   My name is Eric Shelander and I am the Chief Operating Officer for KDJ Imagery and Graphics in Winnsboro, Texas. I would like to tell you my story.

   I was born in July 1951 to Pastor JC and wife Betty Shelander in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up in the church and obviously was there every time the doors were opened. Throughout my formative years I endured falsehoods regarding my conduct and behavior by the parents of other kids in the church, so much so that many Sunday nights after arriving home I would endure belt lashings for my inordinately misappropriate behavior. Most of the lashing came due to false accusations. No I was far from perfect but my parents chose to believe the other adults over their own child. This brewed hostility and rebellion.

   I moved out at age 18 shortly after entering Georgia State University and pretty much left church life and the Lord behind. In 1975, after enduring a huge downturn in the economy and unable to find work I entered the Army where I served for 8 ½ years. While in the army I married a young lady from Seoul Korea and we had a son Patrick. In 1983 faced with the decision to further my military career or to save my marriage I chose the marriage and exited the Army.

   Just 2 ½ years later, in 1986, Hae Su left Patrick and I, she had taken a female lover and was gone forever. I can make all the excuses I want, but truth be known I chose, I made the choice to deaden the pain with alcohol, illegal drugs and licentious living. My second home became the strip club on Fulton Industrial Blvd in Northwest Atlanta, Georgia. This only led to more outrageous lifestyle choices and at the end of my rope decided to kill myself. I got in my pick up and drove around the Interstate, the equivalent of 610 in Houston or 635 in Dallas, and looking for a bridge pillar to crash my truck into and end it all. After two trips around the loop it was obvious I did not have the guts to do it, so….next stupid idea was rob the Fulton National Bank on Fulton Industrial Blvd just down the road from the strip joint. The bank guard there was known as Dirty Harry, he had a reputation for shooting dead the folks who tried to rob that location. So I tried suicide by cop as it were. I walked up to the teller and said. “Put the money in a bag and I waited to get shot only to find out later the guard was out of the building on his lunch break. I did not realize at the time, but it was one of several Holy Ghost setups coming my way.

   The end result: I went out to my waiting taxi, upon sitting down in back seat and the die bomb went off covering the taxi cab, the driver, and me in a cloud of red dye. So I walked back into the bank and went into the branch manager’s office. I explained that I was the person who had just attempted to rob his bank. They called the FBI and in short order I was transported to the local office of the FBI and upon hearing my response to their inquiries, they began to laugh. They picked up the phone and called the Fulton Sheriff’s department to come get me, and they were not going to charge me with the Federal crime of Bank Robbery, but instead they kicked it down to the state and county as robbery by intimidation. When my case came to court, the next Holy Ghost set up occurred when I received a sentence of ten years probation and sin months in a half-way house. Just two short years later, I was back in the stew again and this time for forging my employer’s checks. When they brought me in front of the judge the second time, he literally threw the book at me. I was sentenced to sixteen years with no parole that was levied against me. Doing the math, I knew it would be my son’s 25th birthday before I would walk out of prison. I was devastated.

   Upon my arrival at the Diagnostic and Classification Center in Jackson, Georgia, I was offered the job of Chaplain’s Clerk. A plum position for a prisoner, that included more freedom and more perks that any job except that of the clerk to the warden. During my first week I learned about Friday Night Jackson. WOW! I had grown up in a Southern Baptist Church and never in my dreams had I experienced anything like Friday Night Jackson. I was introduced to Praise and Worship music, and the move of the Holy Spirit. Just a few weeks later I contracted hepatitis and became very ill, but another Holy Ghost set up came into play. The head nurse, Nancy Thompson was a member of Mt. Paran Church of God in Atlanta, where Dr. Paul Walker was senior pastor and Dr. Mark Rutland was the minister of evangelism. She had them pray over me and they blessed a quart jar of Olive Oil and brought it to the infirmary on the fourth Friday night of my stay. She poured it all over my head, laid hands on me, and I came up off the bed 100% healed, filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. My life has never been the same.

Nine months later at another Friday Night Jackson service with one of the Full Gospel chapters from the northwest Atlanta area. Joining the group was Ron and Debbie Miller. They sang three special numbers that night, one was Awesome God! I had never heard that song before, and they really knocked it out of the park. The anointing on them was so heavy. After the service Debbie prophesied over me, “She told me that I would not serve out the entirety of my 16 year sentence, but would go home that year in 1990, and that I would meet my future bride within weeks of my release. She would be a spirit filled tongue talking woman full of grace and faith.” When I returned to my cell that night, there was a letter on my bunk from the pardons and paroles board. It notified me that the judge had sentenced me incorrectly and that I was being released in 30 days on July 2, 1990. Nineteen days later at a Singles Rally at Souls Arbor Church in Lithia Springs, Georgia, I met Faye Johnson for the first time. Several weeks later we started dating and on the first day of the 8th week after we had started dating, we were married in November. We will celebrate thirty-one years of marriage.

   The following year in August of 1991 the Holy Spirit led us to move to San Antonio, Texas. That was another Holy Ghost set up, because my parole officer was a spirit filled Christian, a member of Full Gospel Businessmen, and he had attended the Men’s Advance with me at Rock Eagle Georgia earlier that year. Go Figure. He informed Faye and me that no transfers to Texas were being accepted, but if we truly felt we were being led of the Holy Spirit he would pray over the application prior to submitting it and believe with us that God would make a way. The same day the paperwork was faxed to Austin, Texas, and the approval was immediately faxed back to his office. Wow!

   During our time in San Antonio, I worked for two years on staff with the Television ministry of Cornerstone Church, Pastor John Hagee, and then served another three years as senior associate pastor at World of Pentecost across town. In 1993, I suffered two strokes and was paralyzed on my right side. Ninety days later Charles and Francis Hunter held a healing rally at Evangel Temple in San Antonio. That night I was completely and gloriously 100% healed.

   In 1996 we moved to the Dallas area, where we launched a radio evangelism ministry on KSKY 660AM and had a weekly broadcast that ran for 13 years. Since then beginning in 1999 my wife and I have devoted all of our spare time to itinerant evangelism and prison ministry. In 2018, we purchased a home in Winnsboro, Texas, twenty miles southeast of Sulphur Springs. Two months later as a result of complications from a kidney stone and the resulting infection Faye experienced was Sepsis and was at the point of death. The doctor came to me on the night of July 5th and informed me I should call in any family who lived nearby who might want to say their goodbyes. As I sat outside her room as the medical staff worked feverishly to save her, the Holy Ghost led me to a passage of scripture in Psalms 118:17, “I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord.” I held that scripture in my heart and soul, believing God had given it to me in my darkest hour. At six o’clock the next morning, the doctor informed me she would live and not die, 5 days later I took her home.

   The old saying is a cat has nine lives, if I were a cat, I have used them up. But I am not a cat; I am a child of the most High God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I also have nine earned PHDs from the school of hard knocks. Most of those knocks coming as a result of consequences of my previous actions.

   Faye and I both covet any and all opportunities that come our way to share our walk of faith with others. We do not share our story to brag on us or to make light of the sinful life of my past, but rather to share the glory of God’s redemptive saving grace and the dynamic transformative power of the Holy Ghost.

Eric's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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