Growing up in Gary, Indiana, my parents Samuel and Julia Peavy always taught me, my four brothers and sister the importance of hard work and keeping God first. They taught us to always do our best and give our best! It is those timeless lessons that I have instilled into my own son and daughter. After college I held various office and sales positions, which I enjoyed and prospered from. Now retired, I reside in Missouri City, Texas. I enjoy spending time with my three grandsons, great granddaughter and blessing family, friends and others. I was recently asked the question “Considering all the things that you have done, all the things that you are doing and all of your gifts and talents you have... If given the opportunity, what two things would you like to do most?” Suddenly and without hesitation or consideration clothing design and writing children’s books rushed to the forefront of my thoughts and totally dominated all other considerations. It was at that point I realized it is time for me to fulfill my dreams, by utilizing and maximizing the gifts that God has placed in me and enjoy the fruit of fulfilled purpose. Immediately I started writing my first book Heavenly Rewards. This book offers a Christian based interactive parent-child reading experience. As of July 30th 2020, my second book has been published “5 crowns” and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Xlibris Bookstore. I have two more children books that will be released. This Wake Up To Praise book has been a joy to write with every member expressing what our group means to them.”Team Work Makes The Dream Work!” It’s a joy to Wake Up To Praise!
Co-author Elder Shirley Rice
On a cold blistery snowy night, I am told that my soon to be parents Arthur and Ruby Leavell had gone to see a scary movie; all I know is that the movie was frightening. Shortly after leaving the theatre they returned home to settle in for the night. Little did my mother know, that was not going to be the case. I am told that in the late night hour, Ruby started having contractions and by early January 4, she had given birth to a healthy bouncing baby girl who was given the name “Shirley Ann Leavell.” There is no doubt that they were ecstatic to have a girl to join their union. I was told by my parents they entered me into a contest for The Most Beautiful Baby and I placed first. How exciting that must have been for them. Moving forward by the time I was five years old I found myself in the first grade at Earlington (JW Million) elementary school. I was told to study and keep up my grades, if I fell behind I would have to sit out until I turned six years old. No way was I going to allow that to happen. I did everything my teacher Ms. Murphy asked me to do. I remember so well the first day of class. My parents walked with me to school. Later, after I had learned my route to school, I was able to walk with the other children and my big brother Walter who is two years older. By the time I was twelve years old I was beginning my freshman year in High School. I completed all grade levels at JW Million High School with exception of my senior year. It was bitter sweet, because my junior year would mark the last African-American class at JW Million High School. As I learned about my new classmates, I found them to be enlightened. We studied together and found out about our cultural differences. My best subject was always English Composition and Music Appreciation. We graduated with a class of approximate thirty people. I must say that all of the fears and anxiety dissipated. I thank God for Bible Believing parents who always prayed, made sure all of my siblings where baptized and where taught the right things in life. My most rewarding moment was being baptized at the young age of eight years old. I went on to attend several Colleges and Universities throughout the years. I worked many years for the State of Indiana in Social Services, Mental Health, and was an Advocate for Children; the list goes on. I graduated from American Baptist College (ABC) and Veritas Theological Seminary. I was Ordained Elder Shirley Rice in September, 2009. Little did I realize that I would find such joy and fulfillment in the Ministry. I currently serve as Associate Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church where the lead pastor is Pastor Antwon Brown. He has blessed my life in so many ways. Thank you Pastor for allowing God to work in your life, about things pertaining or concerning me.