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Pastor Donald Elisha Sheppard and his twin brother, Ronald Elijah, were born on May 20, 1962 to the late Bishop Elbert Lee Sheppard and Floria Chavers Sheppard. The youngest of five children, Pastor Sheppard grew up in a Godly home in Quincy Florida. His spiritual quest began when he gave his life to the Lord at age seven and was filled with the Holy Spirit at age eight. He accepted the call into the ministry during his junior year in college and preached his first sermon June 5 1983. He was licensed to preach in December of 1985 and ordained as an Elder in the Church of God in Christ at the hand of Bishop Melton L. Sconiers in August of 1989.
Pastor Sheppard's academic success includes graduating third in his high school class and receiving scholarships to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) in Columbus, Ohio. There he was awarded the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a major in Industrial Design on May 11, 1984. Pastor Sheppard later received a Masters of Science Degree with a major in Art Education from Florida State University (FSU) on April 28, 1995. FSU conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Art Education upon him on December 13, 2013.
Professionally, he was employed for nine years at Homes and Land Publishing Corporation in Tallahassee where he served as Design Artist, Team Leader, Employee Assistants Chairman, and Employee of the Month. After receiving his master's degree at FSU, he began teaching art at Griffin Middle School. He taught there for fifteen years and is currently teaching art at Montford Middle School. As an educator, he has received the Sallie Mae District Finalist Award, the Minority Educator district finalist award, recognition from the Tallahassee Arts Council, and is featured in the book Real Lives: Art Teachers and the Culture of Schools by Dr. Tom Anderson.
Pastor Sheppard's father, Bishop E. L. Sheppard, appointed him to the pastorate of Watson Temple Institutional Church of God in Christ on December 8, 1998, days before he went home to be with the Lord. Since his appointment, Pastor Sheppard and the congregation has purchased four neighboring properties and completed a 1.5 million dollar church addition to the sanctuary in December 2006. Pastor Sheppard is a part of Bishop Willie J. Matheney's State Jurisdictional staff and serves as the Florida Auxiliaries in Ministry (FAIM) Chairman for the Western Florida Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.
Standing by Pastor Sheppard's side is his beautiful and devoted wife, Sarah Rivers Sheppard. They were married November 26, 1988, and have one daughter, Donarah.
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