Belton, Texas – On Tuesday, August 20, Johnny Shelton, Chaplain for the Baltimore Ravens football team and founder of Attitudes In Motion, was the guest speaker at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor University Assembly.
“I came all the way from Baltimore to, number one, remind you of the great job that you’re doing,” Shelton said, “and, number two, to thank you for answering the call.”
UMHB’s University Assembly is an annual gathering of faculty and staff members, held on the eve of each year’s Move-in Day and Welcome Week. It is a time to discuss the upcoming school year, welcome new employees to campus, and celebrate achievements from the last year.
Dr. Steve Theodore, Senior Vice President for Administration & Chief Operating Officer for the university, opened the event by sharing a few details about the incoming freshmen class. The group is on track, he said, to be similar in size to last year’s class of 875 freshmen students. One statistic Theodore highlighted was how many of the new students will be the first members of their families to attend a college or university.
“It’s interesting that 207 in the freshmen class are first-generation students,” Theodore said. “That’s about 24%, and we all have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives.”
Theodore also drew attention to the successful renovation of Hardy Hall to include spaces for the Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant programs and the remodeling of the former 360 Tents building to provide design labs for the university’s growing engineering program.
After an introduction from President Randy O’Rear, Shelton took the stage and shared some of his principles of leadership and ministry. He also shared the scripture verse that convinced him to start reading the Bible more. In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul charges the reader to “be ready in season and out of season.” Shelton, a lifelong athlete, said that to him that sounded a lot like football.
“The challenge and the charge are to fulfill your ministry,” Shelton told the faculty and staff. “God is sending these children to you so that you can speak life into them.”
Shelton is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, where he earned a BS in Business Management. After college, he signed NFL contracts with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, then left football to pursue a career at Procter & Gamble.
Shelton’s passion for inspiring and motivating men led him back to the game he loves in 2005. Through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Shelton served at Elon University in North Carolina for two seasons and then served seven years as the football team chaplain at Virginia Tech before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.