Julia A. Shelhamer, 101, an evangelist of the Free Methodist Church who founded and ran the old Shelhamer Memorial Mission here until her retirement in 1960, died Tuesday at the Royal Manor nursing home in Nicholasville, Ky., following a stroke.

With the help of her sister, Helen Arnold, Mrs. Shelhamer established the mission at 38 I St. NW in 1947. Her principal interest was in helping children and one of her main activities was raising money to provide scholarships for them. She also set up a telephone ministry for troubled persons seeking spiritual guidance.

Miss Arnold died in 1958. Two years later, Mrs. Shelhamer moved to the Free Methodist Church hedquarters in Winona Lake, Ind. She was a volunteer fund raiser there until about 1970, when she moved to Wilmore, Ky., to live near her daughter.

Mrs. Shelhamer was born in Sycamore, Ill. Her father was a temperance lecturer and the family lived at various places in the Ohio Valley. After her marriage to the Rev. E. E. Shelhamer, a minister of the Free Methodist Church, the Shelhamers lived in various parts of the United States and also abroad.

Following her husband's death in 1947, Mrs. Shelhamer moved to Washington and founded the mission, named it in her hsuband's honor. The mission continued to operate until 1965, when it was torn down to make way for an urban renewal project.

Survivors include Mrs. Shelhamer's son, Everett, of Huntington, Ind., her daughter, Esther James of Wilmore, seven grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Julia A. Shelhamer Endownment Fund for Black Children, c/o Free Methodist Church of North Amercia, 901 College Ave., Winona Lake, Ind., 46590.