St. Albans Church of God in Christ
First Lady Shirley Bell Land
Shirley Bell Land was born and raised in Itta Bena, Mississippi and moved to Minnesota shortly after graduating from Mississippi Valley State University with an English degree. Shirley grew up with a strong Christian upbringing as her late mother, Lela Bell Starks would bring them to church consistently, and served as the faith foundation of the family.
Shirley moved to Minnesota in 1981 shortly after graduating from Mississippi Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Upon her arrival to Minnesota, Shirley worked with McIntyre Education as a teacher, and later on the director of the program. In 1986 Shirley met the love of her life, Pastor William E. Land, and they married in October of 1987. They have been blessed with five wonderful children Travale Haynes (daughter-in-law Quanita Haynes), TaDarrean Land, Adora Land Tolefree (son-in-law D'Sean Tolefree), William Land II, and Destyn Land. They have two grandchildren, Khamani and Kobe Haynes.
Wife, Mother, Educator
For 12 years Shirley worked as a teacher and program director for Pilgrim Academy Preschool, and built strong relationships with the students and families in Saint Paul. After obtaining her Early Childhood Minnesota Teaching License in 1998, Shirley began working for Saint Paul Public Schools and stayed for over 23 years until retiring in 2021. She was awarded the Pilgrim Academy Teacher of the Year in 1991, and was a semifinalist for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2018. Shirley is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Shirley has always been consistent in her involvement with the church. She has served as a Sunday School teacher, was once overseeing the Purity program within the Minnesota Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ, and even served as the President of the Pastor and Wives Circle. Shirley is passionate about making sure that her church is not only spiritually healthy, but physically healthy too. She serves as the FAITH Partners Coordinator, and works to educate the congregation on physical and heart health.
As the first, First Lady of St. Albans, Shirley has created a culture of care, grace, laughter, and accountability. She takes great joy in being a part of St. Albans Women's Fellowship and has a strong dedication to the Lord and the people.