John R. “J.R.” Selders

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel…” Romans 1:16. I Must Preach!

SALEM–John R. Selders was born Jan. 26, 1934 in the small town of Killbuck (near Wooster) a son of George and Mabel Frasure Selders.

He is a graduate of Kentucky Christian University with further training in Psychology and Counseling from Youngstown State University, Apple Creek State Hospital and the now closed Woodside Receiving Hospital. Selders’ has served churches in Ohio and Missouri for 50 years as a local minister.

The church community was aided by his leadership in Christian Service camps for youth, a new church planting organization and many revivals and seminars. J.R.’s most recent ministry was Christ’s Church on Glenwood Avenue in Boardman.

Throughout his demanding schedule, ministering to people was always….his first priority. Mr. Selders was the Director of the Principles of Abundant Living Seminar, a study to motivate people to greater self-confidence, better marriage and inter-personal relationships, improved finances and better child discipline methods.

He also is widely-known throughout Ohio and surrounding states as an After Dinner and Keynote speaker using magic and humor. The Ohio Safety Commission hired him to present his message for their Safety Banquets which were held all over the state. He presented Motivational Messages, Seminars and In-House Training in Positive Thinking, Self-Confidence, Goal Setting, Management Skills, etc. to Community, School, Industry and Business organizations. He is a member of the National Speaker’s Association, Ohio Speaker’s Forum and the International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M. Ring 2).

Always active in community affairs, John is a member of Rotary International and is a Paul Harris Fellow. John was very active in the Masonic Order where he is a 50 plus year member. He served Western Star Lodge No. 21 F & A.M. as Master in 2003 and is now a member of Negley Lodge No. 565 F & A.M. He is a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite-Valley of Youngstown, where he served as Most Wise Master in 1990. He was also Coroneted a 33rd Degree in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1990 and is a Past Grand Prior of the Supreme Council, AASR NMJ.

One of John’s greatest honors was enacting the crucifixion scene for the yearly Maundy-Thursday Service for Scottish Rite at the Youngstown Masonic Temple. In York Rite of Freemasonry, John is a 50 year member of Chapter and Commandery, where he served as High Priest of Youngstown Chapter No. 93 Royal Arch Masons in 2006, Illustrious Master of Buechner Council No. 107 Royal & Select Masons in 2003 and is a Past Grand Chaplain of the Grand Council Royal & Select Masons of Ohio in 2006. He is also a Past Commander of St. John’s Commandery No. 20 Knights Templar in 2007 and a Past Associate Grand Prelate of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Ohio in 2010. John received the Meritorious Service Award in 2014, the Knight York Cross of Honor in 2008 and is a holder of the DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor.

John is also a member of Al Koran Shrine Temple and the Youngstown Shrine Club. He is a former member of Miriam Chapter No. 278, Order of Eastern Star. He helped organize and served as a Chaplain of the Youngstown Police Dept. and is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff of Wayne County, Ohio. In the past, he has served as a Chaplain and working member of his local Volunteer Fire Department, president of the local P.T.A., president of Greenford Ruritan Club and often has participated in community variety programs as a singer and comedian.

J.R. is survived by Shirley, his wife of 63 years, and one daughter, Deanna (Art) Anderson; two grandsons, Adam (Lindsey) Anderson and Ryan (Talia) Anderson; and four great-grandchildren, Gavin, Norah, Abraham and Faustena. He is also survived by one sister, Evelyn (Jim) Childers of Coshocton and brother-in-law Gary (Sandy) Mayfield of Austin, Ind.

Friends may call from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 at Christ’s Church, 7155 Glenwood Ave., Boardman, for a celebration of J.R.’s life through music, followed by a celebration of J.R.’s life through God’s Word at 3 p.m. at the church.

Although flowers are beautiful, the family requests that memorials in J.R.’s name be given to Crossmark Ministry Inc. P.O. Box 304 Washingtonville, OH 44490; or to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607 to aid Hurricane Harvey relief.

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(Paid obituary)