VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/22/23)—On November 13, 2023, the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Baptist Association enthusiastically and unanimously called the Rev. Dr. TaNikka Sheppard as its new regional executive minister. She will begin on January 5, 2024.
Board president Rev. Dr. James P. Quincy, III said, “Rev. Dr. Sheppard brings a unique mix of international Baptist experience, with faith-based work and congregational engagement, built on a foundation of work with women and youth that is essential to the growth of our region in this post-pandemic season. We are fortunate to have found these gifts in one person, which makes her uniquely qualified to be our next Regional executive minister.”
ABCUSA General Secretary Dr. C. Jeff Woods said, “Dr. Sheppard possesses the skills that have become essential in regional ministry for this post-pandemic era. Her problem solving abilities, grant writing skills, experience working with pastors, and global perspective will serve her well as she serves the congregations of the Cleveland Baptist Association. I am excited for CBA and I am excited for the American Baptist family.”
Rev. Dr. Sheppard comes to Cleveland from Florida where she has served as assistant general secretary and treasurer of the North American Baptist Fellowship and executive pastor of The Fountain Church of Miami Lakes. She founded Sheppard Solutions in 2019 helping leaders, churches, and faith-based organizations to develop and clarify their vision, purpose, and mission to expand their leadership capacities, to formulate their succession plans, and enhance their communications platforms. She most recently served as president of Baptist Women of North America. She previously served Salem Baptist Church of Columbus, OH, the Baptist World Alliance, and the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention.
“I love helping to guide others on the path of their ministerial calling, through ordination and beyond. My background includes examples of transformational leadership and discipleship that shifted paradigms, developed strategies, and implemented processes that successfully accomplished tasks and helped to reach the desired goals,” noted Rev. Dr. Sheppard during the process.
Rev. Dr. Sheppard received bachelors’ degrees in both Sociology and African American and African Studies from The Ohio State University, her Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Global Ministry from Virginia Union University. “I believe that her twenty years of experience positions her well for success in Cleveland and for CBA,” Rev. Dr. Quincy added.
Rev. Dr. Sheppard is a native of Akron, who was ordained through ABC-OHIO and comes home to Northeast Ohio with a wealth of knowledge and experience in global ministry, with emphasis on women and youth, combined with healthy doses of academic, congregational, governmental, and professional experiences from around the world. The Cleveland Baptist Association enthusiastically welcomes Rev. Dr. Sheppard as its next Regional Executive Minister.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.