NBTS E-Story


Seminarian Lester Shelley: A Veteran Working for Veterans


Lester Shelley assists veterans to get meaningful employment and pursue higher education. He works in an appointed position as Veterans Representative with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. His unit is located at the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center in Trenton, NJ. And we're proud that he's one of our seminarians in NBTS' Master of Divinity program.

In his home church, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ, Shelley serves as an instructor for new member orientation, in pastoral care and counseling and in Project 25:36 Prison Ministry (derived from Matthew 25:36).

Because of his service to his church, community and state government, Shelley was one of ten veterans awarded the NJ Hero's Heart of a Hero Scholarship from the Drumthwacket Foundation at the NJ Governors Mansion in Princeton, NJ in fall 2012. Each recipient received $10,000 to help pursue a post-secondary education or vocational training. When New Jersey's First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced the ten scholarship recipients she said, "Our veterans, past and present, are an extension of our greater New Jersey family. In the spirit of New Jersey Heroes, we are proud to help make a difference in the lives of these outstanding New Jerseyans who served and sacrificed in the defense of our country and our freedoms."


Shelley is a graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University and holds a BS in Biblical Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. As a U.S. Army veteran, Shelley served several tours worldwide and worked as a US Army Reserve Advisor managing reserve components throughout New Jersey and New York. After retiring from military service, Shelley worked for major companies in the private and non-profit sector before being appointed in his current position in the NJ Department of Labor.





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