Their journey began in Springfield, Ohio, where both Fred and Kay Shively were born and grew up in the Church of God.
Fred and Kay were chosen as Peacemakers of the Year 2010 at the Church of God North American Conference, recently held in Anderson.
Fred and Kay have been members of the Peace Fellowship of the Church of God for approximately 45 years, serving on the steering committee for many of those years.
They say they did not expect to be chosen for the award themselves, but they accepted the honor at the insistence of the committee.
Fred is professor of religion and director of ministry education at Anderson University.
“We both were born in Springfield, Ohio, and we both grew up in the Church of God there,” Kay began.
“We knew each other a long time, from the time Kay was 9 and I was 10,” Fred added.
They started dating in college, and after Fred graduated, they married. After Kay graduated, they moved to California.
Kay started out as a high school English teacher and Fred, a minister. While in California they had their two sons, Kevin and Mark.
In 1973, Fred was asked to join the faculty at Anderson University School of Theology, so the Shively family moved from California to Indiana. Their sons were 3 and 5 at the time. Kevin and Mark ended up playing trumpet in the Highland band and graduating from Highland High School.
One can tell that both Fred and Kay are committed to being peacemakers in their daily lives. Fred states that “as an example, Jesus is all-important, when we think of how to respond to violence in the world. Jesus said to love your enemies and he did not strike back.”
“We are opposed to war,” Kay added, “but we also believe that nonviolence takes in more than just opposition to war.”
Kay has worked with Women of the Church of God and for task forces against child abuse and domestic violence for many years. From 1985 to 1994, she served on the Church of God’s Commission on Social Concerns. She is a founding member of the Mayor’s Commission Against Domestic Violence in Anderson and a case manager for Indiana Ministries on clergy sexual misconduct, a position she has held since 1994.
Fred helped initiate the peace and conflict transformation studies component at Anderson University, including work on a minor in peace studies. He has served as director of 68 seminars and work camps throughout the world. Fred just returned in May from his eighth trip to Uganda.
It seems appropriate that today Fred and Kay have an international family of their own. Their son Kevin married to Tanya, who is Chinese. They have two children, a boy, Julian, 10, and a girl, Alison, 8. They live in Connecticut. Their second son, Mark, married Sunshine, who is from the Philippines, and they have a 9-month-old daughter, Leilani, and live in Southern California. All of their family are committed peacemakers, both agreed.
“I don’t believe that we’re going to have peace in the world, until we have peace among the religions,” stated Fred.
“That’s the first thing. And I also believe that when a person chooses to follow Jesus — and that’s the way I state it, I choose to follow Jesus as a servant of the world — that peacemaking comes automatically with that choice. Because Jesus was indeed a peacemaker, so for me to be a follower of Jesus, that means I automatically become a peacemaker. It is something we cannot do alone. It is something we must do together.”
—Margaret Maynard is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credits: Scott L. Miley. Story republished with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.