About Shepherd’s Rest Ministries, Inc. - Battered Women's Shelter, Family Violence Crisis Center located in Paulding County, Georgia.

Shepherd's Rest is a family violence crisis center, located in Paulding County, GA which provides a 24-hour crisis line, emergency housing, food, clothing, domestic violence counseling, legal advocacy, a weekly therapy support group, and resource referrals to Paulding and surrounding counties.

We concentrate our efforts on enabling and empowering abused and homeless women in becoming self-sufficient and gainfully employed by providing them with skills in problem resolution, coping, parenting, and practical job market/ job retention skills in an effort to break the cycle of domestic violence.

Shepherd’s Rest Ministries, Inc. was founded by Dr. Kathryn D. Melton in June of 1997. With a handful of volunteers and approximately $1,700 raised at a gospel singing fundraiser, Dr. Melton opened the shelter to its first two families in December 1997. The battered women’s shelter has since housed over 3,000 women and children.

Prior to establishing the shelter, Dr. Melton was the Founder and Executive Director of Dallas Family Counseling Center, Inc. in Dallas, GA, where she provided individual, group and family counseling, specializing in issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse recovery, & anxiety disorder.

She concentrated her counseling efforts on healing and restoration, and felt God’s calling upon her life to open a battered women’s shelter after witnessing the results of domestic violence in her own sister’s life.

The first shelter was a “handyman’s special” rental house located in Hiram, GA. With the carpentry talents of her husband and a few others, along with generous donations of furniture and supplies from the community-at-large, the facility was quickly turned into a functioning shelter. With God’s provision, by the year 2000, Shepherd’s Rest Ministries, Inc. purchased its own facility, able to house up to 19 people. (paid in full!)

Over the years, the umbrella of Shepherd's Rest Ministries' Safe House and Services for Battered Women & Children has expanded to include three vital areas of service:

  • Emergency / transitional housing for female victims of domestic abuse and their children

  •  Legal Advocacy assisting victims of domestic violence in obtaining Temporary Protection Orders against their abusers through the Paulding County Court System

  •  a weekly Women's Enrichment Therapy Support Group that helps women throughout the community with coping, healing, and family violence issues.

Many ingredients go together to provide each of these services to the community, but the policy for each service is basically the same --- to provide safe housing to any alleged victim of domestic violence in need of emergency shelter and unbiased services to the community-at-large without regard to race, religion, social or economic background.


Our goal is to ensure that victims/clients obtain safety, stability, and can eventually move toward maximum self-sufficiency. All services are offered free-of-charge to the client.

After providing services for 20 years now, God is moving Shepherd’s Rest Ministries, Inc. into a new realm of services for these battered women and children, all in an effort to give healing, restoration, and regeneration to a hurting and dying world.

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Kathryn D. Melton, Ph.D. is the Founding President and Executive Director of Shepherd’s Rest Ministries, Inc., which was established in 1997 and has, to date, provided emergency shelter to over 3,000 battered women and children and has provided Legal Advocacy over the past 15 years to over 5,000 victims of domestic violence seeking Protection Orders against their abusers.

Dr. Melton has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Cornerstone University, Lake Charles, LA.

She was the Founder and former Executive Director of Dallas Family Counseling Center, Inc. in Dallas, GA, providing individual, group and family counseling. Dr. Melton specializes in issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse recovery, & anxiety disorder, and concentrates her counseling efforts on healing and restoration.

She has provided services for Genesis Ministries, Inc. as a Clinical Director, and has served as a volunteer chaplain for the Cobb County Department of Corrections in Marietta, GA. In 1999, Dr. Melton received the Eckerd100 Woman of the Year Award for her spirit of volunteerism to her Paulding community while building the shelter program from the ground up.

Dr. Melton served as Chairman of the Paulding County Domestic Violence Task Force from October 2002 until June 2005, and again from 2007 - 2010. In September 2007, at a statewide Domestic Violence Conference presented by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence in Savannah, GA, Dr. Melton was presented with the award of “Task Force Member of the Year” for the phenomenal work she does in Paulding County with victims of domestic violence.

In 2008, she was inducted into the Cambridge Who’s Who Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry. Dr. Melton is a certified Legal Advocate, and accompanies victims of domestic violence through the Paulding County Superior Court system to obtain Temporary Protection Order’s against their batterers.

Dr. Melton taught Anger Management Classes to Paulding County youth for 13 years through Juvenile Justice and the 7th Judicial District Mediation Program. She has earned a variety of certificates, is a licensed counselor, and is affiliated with a number of professional organizations and businesses. Dr. Melton has worked in the field of mental health for over 37 years in both the public and private sector, and has traveled internationally with her work.

Dr. Melton and her husband of 47 years have three grown children and nine grandchildren. Dr. Melton is a member of a local motorcycle ministry through which she enjoys riding her Harley and spreading the gospel. She is also actively involved in the Civil Air Patrol as a Character Development Instructor, working in both the Marietta Air Museum Squadron and in the Bartow - Etowah Squadron.  Her hobbies include motorcycles, golfing, hiking, and music.