Shelton retires from DHS
Longtime Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Protective Service Investigator Chris Shelton of Piggott is resigning his state employment after more than a decade of service.
Shelton has worked, on average, over 100 cases a year throughout Clay County and surrounding region during his tenure, establishing himself as an advocate for both children and families.
He has been friend and co-workers with local police officers as he worked cases in Clay County.
"I was part of a team of good, professional men and women in local law enforcement agencies," Shelton said. "Nurses and doctors, school teachers and counselors, prosecutors and attorneys who are overworked for state pay and who have dedicated their lives to families. They are all my heroes."
Shelton became an author in 2011 and has spent some of his free time at book signings. His book, "It's Okay, You're With My Father" (A Child Abuse Investigator's Call to The Church) has led to reviews by newspapers, radio and television, including stints on the Victory Television Network, and KAIT8 TV in Jonesboro.
The book is available through most book stores and online. It has been described as a "ride-a-long with a Christian Child Abuse Investigator" and, although no one is identified, the book covers series of cases in which Shelton was actually involved.
The publication has led to some celebrity visits as former Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, now an ordained speaker and author, and Fox News Faith and Religion Contributor Acton Bowen, have both visited the area as a result of the book.
Shelton stated always having a heart for children and families and quickly accepted a position working as an investigator in Child Protective Services, assigned for three years to the State Police Crimes Against Children Division. His experiences led to the book's publication.
"In 2007, I found waiting in court to testify and praying for all the broken families, and God put it in my heart to complete ministry school."
Two years later he completed the three-year program and, only months after graduation, launched Reach ROCK Ministries at 371 North Moore Street in Piggott.
Aside from book signings, the majority of his time is spent engaged in the ministry he founded three years ago. Shelton launched the Reach Out Christ's Kingdom (ROCK) and church in Piggott.
Shelton served as an infantry squad leader, used his GI benefits to complete a teaching degree in sociology, and was recruited to serve as a counterintelligence special agent out of the Washington D.C., earning a meritorious service medal.
His new focus is an event known as "A Call To Honor," a Paragould rally set for April 20 at the Paragould Community Center.
"This is a bi-partisan call to a higher standard for youth, men, women, business, political and religious leaders," Shelton explained. "To heal America we have to reach out to men to become the Christian husbands and fathers they are called to and we'll heal families and America." he said.
The book made the same pleas, citing a breakdown in American families as the likely progenitor to the alarming circumstances in which Shelton found himself while investigating cases.
Shelton states a particular concern is the critical shortage of foster homes in Clay County. He continues that this is a great opportunity for the church. "Although the government continues to try and push Christians out of government," he explained, "this is an incredible opportunity for ministry to make a difference."
Making a difference is what Shelton hopes to do at his ministry in Piggott.
"ROCK is about reaching out to people," Shelton said. "That's our goal. We want to reach people who haven't accepted the Lord into their life. We want to attract people to services who have been somehow overlooked by the modern churches."