Saint George's Church
Loving God. Serving Others. Changing the world.

John bio


The Rev. John Bolin Shellito

Associate Rector |

John Bolin Shellito (neé John Ellis Shellito) was educated in a strong public school system in suburban Boston. Fun fact: his first two names probably originally meant "God is gracious" and "my God saves." They came from his grandfathers: one of whom grew up on a farm, and the other of whom entered adolescence without a father. His mother won a full scholarship for an English Ph.D at Brandeis, and his father trained and worked as a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In his early years, John assumed that despite the long hours and competitive training process he would eventually follow the family tradition and go to medical school, but thankfully God had other plans for how he might best care for others. After a couple years in the spiritual wilderness, he found himself back in church, subsequently organizing programs for the Outdoor Club on campus, and then at the Episcopal campus ministry there. Having grown up in the Episcopal church, he appreciated the opportunity for ecumenical dialogue with other active Christians in college and young adulthood, volunteering and working as a youth minister, and learning from the faith commitments of low-church and high-church Christians alike. Ecumenical dialogue and social justice drew him to Union Theological Seminary, where he gained a greater appreciation for “Jesus and the Disinherited,” to quote Howard Thurman. He also cut his teeth in pastoral care at The Jewish Theological Seminary and worked to revitalize the Ecology Caucus at Union. In the middle of Seminary he married the love of his life, Haley Bolin Shellito, an inspiring woman of faith and a very talented lawyer. After graduation he followed her to the West Coast, where he was able to complete a yearlong Chaplain residency program, before being called as Associate Rector for St. George’s in 2013.

John enjoys music, running, food, childcare, occasional projects, and hanging out with the two family cats, Victor and Leo.  He also helps out at times at Virginia Hospital Center, as an on-call chaplain, usually in the middle of the night. He loves supporting his wife in her career, ministries, and avocations, and he loves spending quality time (including in the early morning hours) with their son, Amos.