Bold in the Bay Area: California Pastor Eager to Host Regional
By Adrian Powell
There is a sort of personal connection between me and the home church of the 2022 Regional Conference in California. While attending a preacher’s conference in Indianapolis during the 1990s, I was asked to ferry one of the speakers to the airport on my way back to Columbus, Ohio. That speaker was one Horace Sheppard Sr., pastor and conference speaker par excellence. As we rode to the airport together, he took the opportunity to school me as a young pastor in the wisdom of ministry and preaching well.
Fast forward nearly three decades, and Destiny Christian Fellowship is the host congregation for the 2022 Regional Conference of the Church of God, April 26–28. While being known as an outstanding preacher, teacher, and kingdom-builder in his own right, Pastor Paul Sheppard is also blessed to have had one of the most sought-after preachers of the Church of God as a father, Horace Sheppard, Sr.
Paul Earl Sheppard has been preaching since his teens and has been in pastoral ministry since 1982. He served as the first hired associate pastor of West Oak Lane Church of God in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for seven years while his father was senior pastor, even while there were several other older, more seasoned ministers on the staff. They all agreed that Paul should come on board as the associate pastor.
Paul also served as senior pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, California, for twenty years. In 2010, he founded Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California, where he serves as senior pastor.
Pastor Paul is a native of Philadelphia. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania, the Center for Urban Theological Studies, and the Southern California School of Ministry, from which he earned a master of ministry and was later conferred a doctor of divinity.
When asked about the difference between living on either coast, Paul said, “I have now been in California longer than I had been on the East Coast in Philly. The first thirty-one years of my life were spent in Philly, but now on my next birthday, God willing, I’ll turn sixty-five, so I’ve been out here longer than I was in Philadelphia.”
Pastor Paul continues, “But when I first came, it was quite an adjustment, with the cost of living, the way things are spread out, and you have this major metropolitan area that is broken up into these different areas because of the bay sitting in the middle of it. But I love California living, and I’ve grown quite used to it.”
An effective communicator of God’s Word, Pastor Paul is widely known for his outstanding teaching style, which helps people apply the ageless vistas of Scripture to their everyday lives. He serves as speaker for the daily radio and online broadcast Destined for Victory. He’s also an author, whose latest books include Lessons from the Vineyard: Developing a Life that’s Rich in Character and Defeating Discouragement: Learning from Elijah’s Experience.
Considering the fast-approaching Regional Conference, Pastor Paul said, “I’m looking forward to sharing a message that I hope will inform and inspire us all to be bold witnesses in an increasingly secularized society. In fact, I trust that every session during this gathering will prove beneficial to those you attend.”
He and his wife, Meredith, were married in 1982. They are the proud parents of two adult children who work alongside them in ministry—Alicia Greer, and Aaron Sheppard.
“Identity—because of the I Am, we are.” That’s the theme of the 2022 Regional Conferences, and that’s precisely what each panelist and an array of speakers will explore with us. Register today at www.chogconvention.org.
Adrian Powell is an associate editor with Church of God Ministries and serves as senior pastor of Faith Community Church of God in Grove City, Ohio. He has been published in numerous periodicals, newspapers, and blogs, and has authored two books—The Jubilee Harvest and Resident Aliens: A Living Faith in a Hostile World, available at Amazon.com.