Mountain View Voice

News - December 25, 2009

Megachurch's charismatic leader resigns

Abundant Life pastor Paul Sheppard steps down for unspecified 'moral failure'

by Daniel DeBolt

Paul Sheppard, the beloved pastor who led the monumental growth of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship for 20 years, resigned last week after confessing "moral failure" in a letter to church elders.

On Monday, interim executive pastor Wayne Jackson said the church's board of elders received a resignation letter from Sheppard nine days prior. The letter did not provide any details about what Sheppard meant by "moral failure," Jackson said.

Sheppard has "confessed to his wife," and believes she is the only one who needs to know any further details, Jackson said. Rumors that Sheppard had been having an affair are based on assumptions about what little was revealed in the letter, he added.

Jackson made the announcement to the congregation in all four of the church's services on the weekend of Dec. 19 and 20, which he led in Sheppard's absence. Each service is usually attended by more than 1,000 people.

The Voice came to the church on Monday night to attend a question-and-answer session for congregants, but just as it was beginning, church leaders said they'd skip the questions and lead the group in prayer and song instead.

Jackson was seen comforting several devastated, crying churchgoers in the lobby, while gospel songs were sung in the packed sanctuary.

Before the worshipping began, one church leader admitted that some members might be angry about the situation, and even leave the service. But churchgoers were told to look to God for answers, to submit their question for the church on Abundant Life's Web site (www.alcf.net), and were then led in prayer and song.

When asked if Sheppard should have continued on as pastor, one churchgoer said "absolutely" because of the good he was doing with the church. Another said it was unfortunate that pastors are put on pedestals when really they are just as "fallible" as anyone else.

The Voice profiled Abundant Life in June, when Sheppard announced it was outgrowing its space on Leghorn Avenue. At that time, the church reportedly had 6,000 members. Originally based in Menlo Park, Abundant Life had grown over 20 years, under Sheppard's guidance, from only 34 members.

Sheppard also has a syndicated radio show called "Enduring Truth" which is broadcast on 500 radio stations. Jackson said he was unaware whether Sheppard would continue to do his radio show. Sheppard's personal Web site, www.thesheppardstouch.net, was blank this week.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

Comments

Posted by HW- from LA , CA, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

WOW ! when will it stop ? THIS IS SICK! my husband and I have been listening to him in LA on 99.5 at 12:30 daily for about 6mth … I really did enjoy Pastor P. because he was straight forward – he did not sugar coat things – he said it like it was and if you did not like it so what because he got it from the BIBLE – I like that .. but I get to my office Tuesday I think and before his program a man came on telling the listens the news – all I could say NOT ANOTHER ONE – SHAME ON YOU PASTOR .. Yes! You new better.. I am not throwing a stone because I have sinned and will continue too sin – I ask God everyday to help me look more and more like him .. so its not judging BUT WHEN WILL IT STOP ..Him and all other pastors need to be held accountable for their actions … it is unbelievable that you (Pastor P) could not keep you "MAN" in you pants – SAD .. you could have gotten help or something , ANYTHING … YES he is a man but he is a MAN of GOD .. people always saying you should follow the man of God – be obedient to the man of God --- prime example – if the BIBLE does not tell you to do it you should not listen to NO man … we need to stop putting our faith in MAN …so when things like this happen it will not be such a blow to our faith as some put it "stumble" .. Pastor P cheating should not weaver our faith … WOW! Shame on him .. God will deal with him – and some of the writers wrote about the lady that he was having this affair with – I say she was wrong and she has to deal it God BUT if Pastor would have walked away there would have never been a another lady --- SHAME on you for bringing this shame to your family just because you had a itch that you thought your wife could not scratch.. I pray for your wife and your kids – to MS Sheppard.. YOU STAND tall and know God will see you though this


I thank God I am at a point in my live that I don't lean on a man (pastor) to show me the way …. The WORD is what count – it does not matter what man is saying it as long as it is from the BIBLE – so to the member Move on .. there are more Pastor out there – don't let this distract you and be concern about why he did it , how he did it with and what will be do now .. MOVE ON AND FOCUS ON GOD , the WORD and be there for the first lady if she comes a calling and forgive him also and let the Sheppard family deal with this in house …. WOW!




Posted by jgapinoy, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I am saddened by all this. But I have to remind myself that for every preacher who falls into immorality, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, who are living right & doing much good. Obviously the ones who gain much fame are the most likely to fall, because
1) they are more succeptible to pride
2) they are more attractive to ladies
3) they are a bigger target for the devil
Since some the famous preachers fall, this may lead to the erroneous conclusion that most preachers fall. Thankfully that is far from true.


Posted by LT, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I was hurt and sadden by the resignation of Pastor Paul Sheppard.
Over the years I have had nothing but great respect for this wonderful man of God. I still have respect for him. Pastor Paul is a great Motivator, Preacher, Teacher and Reacher but he is Man first.

We all have sinned and fallen short of His Glory.."Ye here without sin,cast the first stone"..Most of have done it but either you did not confess it or you did not get caught..( Whatever)..Pray for Pastor Paul and his family..help them build a bridge so they can get over it..


Posted by KG, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Goes to show you, it doesn't matter how much "work" you're doing for God. If you let your guard down, you're going to be taken in. I agree with jgapinoy, there are lots of people out there living out the commandments of God. What really breaks my heart is that people, like myself, feel really helpless because if this person who dedicated his life to serve God has issues. I feel doomed. Good thing I believe God has got us all covered in the end. Agree with me or not, thats how I believe. Thanks MV Voice for following this story and providing the comments section.


Posted by Stimey, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I too have been listening to him up here in Portland, OR for several years and am very saddened by this.

I'm reminded though that Satan roams the earth like a roaring lion seeking those he can devour, (1st Peter 5:8), and who do you think he's going to be after the hardest? Those who are doing the most for Jesus.

The best and only real thing we can do for Paul and his family is to pray for them.

Take care, and Merry Christmas to all!


Posted by millie, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I have been listening and studying with Pastor Paul for several years and I am very heart broken for all of us that truly love and enjoyed his style of teacher. I have been praying for him daily for years and I will continue to do just that for him and his family. God please bless the Sheppard family in their time of sadness.


Posted by AG, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Too bad in the Church we shot our wounded , I pray the Church and his wonderful wife and family forgive him and allow him to move on with his life and be restored after a while with prayer and counseling allowed to return to the pulpit. We are all a work in progress, the most important thing in life is not so much what you accomplish but how you end up. All things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. Paul was called and this will work out for his good. If you have really been forgiven by God you have a better understanding of forgiveness.


Posted by HY, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Very sad...but it reinforces the need to constantly support our pastors with prayers and intercession. They are the focus of satan's most vicious attacks.
The body of Christ inevitably takes a few body blows, we might be knocked down, but not knocked out.
Pastor Paul was a man of God. If he sincerely repents, asks for forgiveness (and forgives himself), I am confident that God will restore him to even greater heights, to continue the good fight of faith.
My prayers go out to him and his family in this difficult time.


Posted by B. J. C., a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 6:19 pm

He who is without sin cast the first stone. Some have said shame on Pastor Paul, others feel let down by him or hopeless because he is a man of God and they seem to think they are weaker than Pastor Paul. If you know scripture you understand that everyone without exception (David the apple of Gods eye) while yet on this earth can take their eyes off of God for a second and then become a victim of the enemy. I am sadden to hear of Pastor Paul's situation but I began to pray for him and his family right away without trying to satisfy myself with acceptable reasons for Pastor Paul's mistake. What we should all realize is that Pastor Paul is carrying a heavy load now so those who have been blessed by God through Pastor Paul should help to lift his burden as he has at one time or another helped to lift yours with the Word of God. Love is better than sacrafice.


Posted by MMM, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 7:33 pm

I am feeling very disappointed, hurt and kind of confused.What is going on? This is scary! Pastor Paul? Are we really who we say we are? Christians? Is it that easy to fall? I've listened to Pastor Paul on many occasions. He is a great man of God. I am a relatively new believer(4years), and if he can fall, so can I.(Not a very comforting thought).Oh God,help us to stay strong! Lord I pray that you will guide and help Pastor Paul and his family through all of this.O God,what are you trying to teach us? Lord? Increase our faith.Restore unto Pastor Paul and his family,the joy of salvation.Amen!THIS TOO SHALL PASS!GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT! MARANATHA!






Posted by Lolita Hill, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I have only been a member of ALCF for a year but have listened to his Enduring Truth off and on for years. Yes, he was only a man that has the same temptations any of us have and no one is better than any other. I was reading on line about a Pastor down south that unfortuenately has come upon the exact temptation and resigned around the same time Pastor Paul has. I sat back and watched as a new service was added because of the growth under his leadership and I watch how Pastor Paul achieved the title of Director of Christian Nationa broadcastor...Do you really think Satan was hppy with this.
He assigned his demon right away and unfortunetely it seems liked he was successful but just as David was man of GOD own heart with all his failures, I believe Pastor Paul will come out victorious and GOD is not throught with him yet. There is much more work for Pastor Paul and I will continue to pray for him, his wife and thier family along with other pastors out thier because satans is not going to stop his attacks until he is put away.

I also pray for the heavy burden hearts at our church including myself because a brother and his family are hurting and that causes me hurt also.

I do pray that pastor will come back, if not in the pulpit just to talk to us as he was so good at doing because I know that what has hppen will be used for GOD's glory.


Posted by TK, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm

What is the difference in a regular Man (Tiger Woods ) and a Man
of God ( Paul Sheppard)?? It should be significant.. Any leader who
is leading Gods people are held to a higher standard..
To whom much is giving much is required..

Maybe the Elders voted against P.Paul for the sake
of the Body at large.. Obviously the behavior and moral conduct
was beyond one mistake..but rather a practice and or a
lifestyle. Why do peope forget principle, such as what goes up must
come down or what's in the dark will come to light?

A person who is exposed to the word and then excepts and believes the word is only foolish when they continue to make and continue to make wrong choices. I am Glad that P Paul stepped down. It displayed respect for the body & gives him the opportunity to be restored.

This is a move of God..I believed God will restore P Paul.. & He will have a great testimony. Let's keep praying for our brother !


Posted by BC, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I pray that Pastor Sheppard will continue God's work. We should be quicker to forgive than to throw stones. All of us have failed at some point in our lives and needed forgiveness, which is what God is all about--that is the purpose that He sent His Son Jesus Christ. At this point, those of us who believe in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit must come in prayer not just for Pastor Sheppard for all of us and ask for God to continue to manifest His strength within us all. This could have happened to any one of us, but this time it was Pastor Sheppard. Please let us become compassionate instead of hard and cruel which are tools of the flesh. I pray that Pastor will hold on to the attributes of God which are forgiveness, love, kindness, gentleness and humility and those of us who belong to God to manifest these attributes on behalf of Pastor Sheppard and His family. Thank God that He forgives and let us be so forgiving that if Pastor wishes to return that he knows that he can. The world does not understand these things and we don't expect them too, but those of us who are called by God understand quite well.Remember, my brothers and sisters, all the great men and women of the Bible committed sins that seem unmentionable, but that did not stop a Sovereign God from allowing them to continue in the task that He had pre-ordained. Please let us pray and not accuse.


Posted by steven satterfield, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 11:30 pm

get over it pastor paul, and keep it moving,your knowledge of the Father and the way you present it, is very dangerous to the enemy. guys like Job, who God actually suggested him to satan to devour.Or Paul's "thorne",maybe to keep that great knowledge of his humble.Even Peter who was at our Lord's side day in and day out for 3yrs.denied Him 3x's.Our Lord said to him afterwards "when you are converted, strengthen the brethren. He did not say "if" your converted.In other words, i forgive you. NOW GET OVER IT!!!!"I showed you where you are weak".WHEN YOU ARE WEAK "I AM"....the harvest is plentiful. So come on man i need my manna 1:00PM 970AM


Posted by Michael Boucher, a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Pastor Paul has done what he knew he had to do,the damage was done,he was caught off gaurd and fell,he know's that he is now disqualified from that post and he resigned.i respect him for that and it show's me that he really doe's want to please God.i pray for him and his family and i know i'll see him in Heaven.


Posted by AB, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 12:24 am

HW,to you i say WOW,how can you strike a man when he is already down,this should be a time for love and prayer with a heart of forgiveness,and keep in mind,you too can fall and what would you want to hear after you confess,if in fact you would go so far.


Posted by Regular Attendee, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:43 am

I have been attending ALCF for over three years. I began attending this church after leaving another local church, lead by a fake pastor who was not saved. This other pastor, I later learned, is a long time best friend and neighbor of Pastor Paul. This other pastor was having an affair with female church member who I happened to meet. I left this other church, as I was not able to stay focused on The Word of God.

I began listining to Paul Sheppard on the radio, in the afternoons, while at work. His practical Bible teaching provided a platform for me to study The Bible. ALCF was and remains the vision I have had for a church: Multi-culturalism, tolorance, non-politicalism, no formal dress code, no begging for multiple offerings, no pressure to join, no first lady, no preachers in gowns, no Bishops, no wooden benches. This is the church that Paul Sheppard and thousands of Believers built. I have witnessed several hundred people give their lives to God due to Pastor Paul, Pastor Wayne, Pastor Dan, Pastor Brian and all the other Elders. Most of the ALCF parishioners would never go to other local churches. The mixed race families provide part of the ALCF rainbow. This church bridges the gap of segregated Sunday morning worship.

"Moral Failure" is code language for "I have been having a sexual relationship with another person. I have told my wife, because the other person is going to rat me out and the insuing embarassment is going to bring down my marriage, my ministry and my church. Therefore, I must resign enlue of imminnent termination."

Dear Pastor Paul Earl Sheppard: God loves you. You are the Son of a great preacher. You are the brother of a great peacher. You are the husband of a great preacher. You are a grat preacher. You are also a man, flesh and blood, hormones and heartbeat. Men are God's creatures. They are imperfect. They are subject to the dualities of world changing success and world collapsing failure. However, sin requires repentence and not resignation. Sin requires foregiveness and not hating. I was once told that the closer one gets to greatness, the closer one gets to failure. Substitute the word greatness with Godliness and the word failure with Devil. Demons take on may forms including temptation, a pretty face, a nice conversation and distraction. The distraction becomes fornication. The fornication is sin, and so forth.

The gifts of being a world changing practical Bible teacher, church builder, race relations builder, community builder, a pastor's pastor, are some of the gifts that God has bestowed upon Paul Earl Sheppard. Pastor Paul is not perfect. No man who has been deemed a visionary, an over achiever, a champion, a leader's leader, has been diagnosed as some form of perfection. I will continue to faithfully attend ALCF, Paul or no Paul. I ran from another church to ALCF. I found what I was looking for. I am tired of running. I don't really belong anywhere else. ALCF is a special place for special people, Paul Sheppard being only one of them. It is Christmas Day, 2009. The birthday of Jesus. Give God the gift of repentance and forgivenes. Amen.


Posted by K. Jones, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 5:24 am

Regular Attendee, I agree with what you said, which I think is the main point:"sin requires repentence not resignation". I also think I can understand why P. Paul resigned. I'm not a pastor but I am a father and husband. When you do something wrong, morally or otherwise, you know that you have dissapointed the ones that look up to you for your teaching, your guidence, your protection, and your leadership. The embarassment and shame that you feel can be overwhelming. It would be hard to do your job knowing that you would be wondering, " What do they think of me?", " Do they forgive me or resent me for what I've done?". Believe me, it's hard to look those that depended on you in the eyes because of what you've done.

Those of you who said to P. Sheppard; shame on you or he dissapointed you, I advise you to immediately to stop throwing your stones before your glass house falls down greatly on you. Not one person has the right to say those things to him, no not one!

P. Paul Sheppard, I listen to you on 91.5 Bott Radio Station in St. Louis. I have learned from you, you made me really think about things that I've been going through when your sermons hit home, and you also made me laugh when I needed to. You are a great man of God, just sit back and think of the things God had you to accomplish for His Kingdom, those things cannot be taken from you. Also, you are a man, imperfect, subject to the temptations of the devil like everyone else on this planet. No one is immune. Until 'that day' that we rejoice together in His Kingdom, there is only 'one' who is perfect; JESUS CHRIST our Lord and Savior. So, P. Paul, repent for whatever it is that you've done, you already know that GOD is ready and willing to forgive you, and I pray that your wife forgives you quickly, then return to that path that GOD has set you on and continue to bring Him Glory. Amen.


Posted by MG in MI, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:11 am

I am deeply saddened to learn of the reason for Pastor Paul's resignation, and choose not to make assumptions or my personal definitions of his "moral failure".

Of course, I preferred that things were handled differently; that he repented before the leadership so they could have handled this in a private manner AND that he would have taken a sabbatical for a year to receive professional christian counseling and support for himself, his marriage and family as they begin their journey towards healing and restoration.

However, I respect the mutual decision of Pastor Paul and his wife; I know it was a difficult one and trust it was by God's guidance. I offer love, forgiveness and mercy for the man of God who desperately needs the same salvation of Jesus Christ that he himself proclaimed. May the sweet Meredith Sheppard be blessed greatly for sharing her husband with the rest of us; and may she receive the wisdom and grace to go through this difficult season.

I will continue praying for the ALCF family and leadership. I know that no one wanted him to make such an absolute and drastic decision to resign because Pastor Paul is loved so greatly. Now they too will need to be healed from the hurt and pain because of this loss. It may be difficult but not impossible for them to resolve to comfort one another in the love and peace of God and remain in unity as they seek God together.

It's things like this that can encourage us to press into a more intimate love relationship with God. Be encouraged - He makes beauty from ashes. A beautiful transformation can take place in the hearts of everyone at ALCF that can make a great impact in the world for the Kingdom of God!


Posted by Your Sister In Christ, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

First, I give honor to God; who has set all things in place. To my beloved Brother "P.Earl" and Sister "Mert", we love you without a shadow of doubt. Our hearts sank at the news, but because we understand the call placed on our lives we are yet encouraged. About seven years have passed since our conversation regarding true repentance and the level of God's forgiveness and restoration. Though the conversation seemed a bit skewed; we assured you that WE KNOW God's restoration only comes one way; that is 100%!

Be encouraged in the Lord and encourage yourself. All that you both have learned and shared with others; be ye partakers! DESTINY CALLS.


Posted by Bro.Barnabus, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:33 am

I want to encourage you Bro. Sheppard to keep fighting the good fight of faith! God HAS NOT FORSAKEN YOU no matter what people say or even what thoughts may go throuh your mind at this time of your life! Truly He is a God of restoration and He is more than able to bring healing to this situation. As I throw my papers in the early mornig hours, I have been so blessed by your ministry and share the truths you elaborate on with others. All have sin and fallen short of the glory of God! Even David a man after God's own heart, fell short! So, with all this in mind, I pray that God will bring you to the place of restoration in due season and that you may continue to do God's will in the capacity that He directs you in!


Posted by COG, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm

When I heard the news about Pastor Paul, I was deeply troubled.It is somewhat hard to understand how a pastor who can preach such powerful measseges about sexually integrity; fall so hard.There is a disconnect somewhere. But this is not the time for condemnation.No matter who we are,God sheds his light on the dark areas of our lives,and exposes our sins. We should always remember that God is everywhere, and he sees everything.Everyone is focusing on Pastor Paul.What about his wife and children? They also have to face the shame and guilt of his indescretion.But this should be a lesson for all of us.Our sins will find us out.So lets not forget that we have a HIGH PRIEST-JESUS, who advocates for us,and knows everything that we face.Pastor Paul is not "THE BODY OF CHRIST", he is just a hand, and he can be restored.Just remember "GOD IS GOOD" all the time,and may He bless Pastor Paul and his family.Amen!











Posted by ThisToShall, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:48 pm

It is a sad fact that all men are sinful. But does their sinfulness nullify the truth of what they teach? No. The messenger and the message are two different things. Even a crack head can tell a child not to put their hand on a stove top and be absolutely right about it.

I attended ALCF for 8 years. I was there to fellowship, hear the word, and renew. Sorry to hear about the Pastors failing, but was not too shocked as he was just a man with a message from God, not God. I put my trust in no man, only God. I am sad to see him go, but he is doing the right thing by stepping down. Better for him to do it on his own than for us to have to take him down. Man, I am going to miss his messages from God.

But now he will have to suffer the fall out of his sin. Loosing his ministry, his followers, his credibility, and possible his marriage. My prayers are with him and his family in this difficult time. And I am praying for my family and myself big time also. You just never know who is next on the list to kill, steal, and destroy.

I have faced many temptations in life. I have not passes all of them with flying colors either. As my walk with God progresses there are just some things that are a non negotiable. But the devil is alive and smart. If your weakness is a woman in a blue dress and heals, please believe she is gonna show up at your door one day. If your weakness is money the devil will fill in the blanks. Just pray you are strong enough to resist when your time comes.

One thing I feel very bad about is that God had put it on my heart to pray for the pastor and his family 2 years ago and I did for a season, but stopped. This taught me a lesson, pray without ceasing, even for the people who don't seem to need it.


Posted by Grace and Mercy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm

We love you and are praying for you Pastor Paul, Merideth, Aaron and Aleshia.

We joyously look forward to your day of restoration..... the Lord wastes nothing and your pain and humiliation will produce much fruit in the future


Posted by Grace and Mercy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm

To you Mt View complainers, complaining about congestion and traffic..............think tax dollars. Those 6,000 people converging in Mt.View is the reason that many local businesses have been able to weather the recession. Blessing come in many different ways


Posted by Reverend CarolAnn North, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Pastor Paul and Lady Meredith:

My heart aches for you as a brother and sister in Christ. I wonder if we might all become more clinical about our moral failure. I saw the article by Daniel DeBolt in the Mountain View Voice newspaper. Beloved, I wonder if we might study like a researcher, like a detective, like a diagnostician those circumstances that become breeding grounds for our moral failures. I use my own financial ruin as a model. Currently, I am studying my situation like a detective: examining the clues, sorting through the evidence, analyzing the entire scenario. In studying my situation, I have made helpful discoveries that will help me to avoid this kind of financial devastation FOREVERMORE! Under separate cover, I will share a letter with you. I will send it to you by your friends. Be encouraged. As I go before God, I repent for my financial failure...biblically, I missed it. I repent, God forgive me., I discovered that I did not stay closely enough in God's word as it relates to our personal finances...even though I DO NOT ROB God in tithes and offerings.
Beloved Pastor Paul and Lady Meredith, I want to encourage you this Christmas day by sharing my story with you. Too, I am singing a hymn to you: "I heard the voice of Jesus say Come unto me and rest. Lie down thy weary one, lie down Thy head upon my breast. I came to Jesus just as I was: weary and worn and sad. I found in him a resting place and he has made me glad. Be encouraged...we are covering you in MUCH prayer. Restoration will come and you will become like the violent, who take the kingdom of God by force, all to the GLORY of GOD. Amen!
In Christ,
CarolAnn North
Celebration Church
Columbia, Maryland


Posted by yvonne freeland, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Pastor Paul we at FBCG are praying for you and your family. I wll truly miss your voice on WAVA. I pray your family get through this storm and continue in HIS plans for your lives.Hugs to you and Meridith. Come see us again, so we can give you and yours a FBCG welcome! Keep your heads up!


Posted by Pastor Dwayne Jordan, a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Pastor and Lady Shepard,
We are praying for you. Our hearts go out to you knowing that God can fix anything and do anything but fail.
I hope that we all remember:

John 8:7 (New International Version)

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

May God touch the core of your hearts and mend every broken way.

Pastor and Lady Dwayne A. Jordan


Posted by SHG, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:16 am

It is a shame that so many people are using this opportunity to let us know how much they know about God and all the scriptures they know. Why do people have to be so spiritual that they are no earthly good? Let us pray for Pastor Paul and his family.


Posted by Rommel, a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

My mom told me the news today with tears in her eyes about Pastor Paul Sheppard. Honestly my first reaction was disappointment and a bit of anger. I listened to his radio broadcast regularly and have been challenged, encouraged, enlightened and strengthened by his ministry. Although my first reactions were perhaps typical of any human being who learned of unfavorable news about a another human being that he admired and respected, my mother displayed a character traits that sadly so many so called Christian don't have, and that is spiritual maturity and compassion. My heart softened almost instantly when she encouraged me to pray for this anointed pastor and teacher, his family and Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. Every person within the body of the church should be praying that neither the pastor, his family or former congregation succumb to the lies of the enemy. We should pray that spiritual discouragement and defeat do not overtake the hearts and minds of the members of ALCF, pastor Sheppard, or his family. Further, we need to pray for each other. While pastor Sheppard is practicing what he has preached which is to confess, repent and accept the restorative power of Jesus Christ our saviour, the church needs to display the same contrite heart and humble spirit. I am saddened by the news of pastor Sheppard but I am more profoundly disturbed by the behavior of those who profess to be Christians. The world is not only watching our leaders, but they are watching us! Jesus came into this world for sinners...that is to say for every human being who has tried to live right but has utterly failed. He came for all of us who through no power of our on can earn salvation vis a vis our behavior or works. He came to be the propitiation for all our sins, past, present and future. While we were yet sinners He came for us out of love. No sin is to great for God to forgive if we confess and repent. May God convict pastor Paul's heart, restore his faith, strengthen his resolve and bless the work of his hands that he does to the Glory of God. May God heal and strengthen the Sheppard family. May God continue to bless and increase the work of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. Amen.


Posted by Pastor CJ Gant, a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2009 at 11:41 pm

"By this shall all men know that you are my disciples; if you have love for one another." You know, I read through every comment thus far, and everybody is right to some degree. Yes, Pastor Paul should be ashamed; I'm certain that he is. Yes, ordained clergy should be held to a higher standard; I'm certain Pastor Paul acknowledges this fact, thus his resignation. And yes, he has let many of you down; believe me, he actually understands this even better than you do. Few of you, however, understand the weightiness of the office of Pastor. Most of you only see and hear the accolades and adoration of a Pastor Paul. But, you know nothing of the endless pressures. NO! I am not defending his "moral failure." I'm just stating the fact that most of you have no idea of the struggles, and the crying, and the frustrations, and the sleepless nights that, by nature, come with the office of Pastor. If you did understand these things, your first response to this dilemma would be love. Love for Pastor Paul; love for his family; and, love for the restorative power of our Lord Jesus. Our job, Christians, (since Pastor Paul has confessed his sin)is to do whatever we can to help him get on the path to spiritual restoration. Yes, that path will probably be a long one that takes years perhaps; but that ought be our goal. PRAY for Pastor Paul, and for the Elders of ALCF, that he might slowly be brought again out of this current darkness back into the glorious light of renewed fellowship with his God! I LOVE YOU, PASTOR! HANG IN THERE; DO WHAT IS NECESSARY AND RIGHT; GET BACK ON TRACK!


Posted by Member, a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

We all have sinned and come of the glory of GOD. Who are we to judge a man of God. It is not our place to do or say anything except pray. And ask your maker how we should pray. Everything that happens HE allows it. HE signs off on it. So praise him, and trust him. Do not look to judge or shame or condemn. For the is no condemnation for them sho seek CHRIST. I know it is very easy to feel some kinda way. But remember GOD is love and we are called to be like him. So do you really think HE has closed his loving arms and is shaking his head in shame like many of us? Lets all spiritually grow up a little!


Posted by jan, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm

i am deeply saddened for what happened , my prayers to Pastor Paul and His family as well as members of ou church, i am disappointed but then respected him for admitting his failure, that shows us that he's only human and have weaknesses, i understand some are angry and sad but let us pray for forgiveness and understanding.Pray each one of us that we all go through this , and i still continue to attend to our church. Please pray for him , his family instead of condemning him .YOU"LL BE MISSED PASTOR PAUL


Posted by DW, a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm

All I can do is to quote Paul's word to the Galatians. Said the apostle, 1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted . 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (Galatians 6:1-4). As a pastor myself, all I can do is to pray for the brother. I teach my small congregation that there are two groups of people in this world, the caught and the uncaught. Should he have done what he admitted to doing? No. But face it, each and everyone one of us has things from our past—to say nothing of present—that we hope to God never sees the light of day. .I also find that those that exhibit the least amount of mercy usually have the most to hide. Don't take my word for it, ask David (See 2 Samuel 1-12). All of us have skeletons in our closets. I have met Pastor Paul maybe once or twice. He wouldn't know me from Adam, but I truly pray his, his family, and his ministry's strength in the Lord. And pastor, may this stumbling block turn into a stepping stone!!


Posted by M. Thornton, a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:23 am

My prayers go out to all....the Sheppard family and the church body. God is still in control, His mercies are new everyday and He specializes in turning things around for His glory. Let's pray one for another. We all have sinned, it just may have not been broadcasted or highlighted via internet. I am sure Pastor Paul is aware of his sin. Our responsibility is to pray less we fall.

M. Thornton
VA


Posted by Daniel DeBolt, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Daniel DeBolt is a registered user.

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