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Pastor, Denominational Employee E. Wayne Shepperd Passes Away

E. Wayne Shepperd, Jr., born June 20, 1935, in Los Angeles, California, to Elbert W. Shepperd, Sr., and Naomi E. Owens, passed to his rest on Feb. 6, 2018, in Austin, Texas


E. Wayne Shepperd
Photo from Tony Shepperd/Facebook


E. Wayne Shepperd, Jr., born June 20, 1935, in Los Angeles, California, to Elbert W. Shepperd, Sr., and Naomi E. Owens, passed to his rest on Feb. 6, 2018, in Austin, Texas. News of his passing, and words of condolence to the family, appeared on social media.
“So sorry to hear of your loss,” June Melton wrote on Facebook. “We always enjoyed having Elder Shepperd come to Ozark Academy to speak.”
Eljen Hutton responded to son Tony’s post on Facebook with this note: “I just heard what happened. I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was a great man. It was a real pleasure getting to know him the way that we did. Just know that your father was a true inspiration to us all.”
Shepperd graduated from Los Angeles Academy in 1953. In 1957, he graduated from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, with degrees in history and theology; he graduated from seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, in 1966. He was ordained in 1967. On July 19, 1958, Shepperd married Joyce Montgomery. The couple would have three children: Wayne, Eric, and Tony.
Shepperd entered denominational employment in 1961 as a principal and teacher at Ephesus Junior Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the Southwest Region Conference. He then pastored in Tyler, Texas, before becoming the Southwest Region's Education Director in 1967. In 1973, Shepperd became chaplain for Andrews University, and in 1975, became the Youth director for the Lake Union Conference.
He returned to Texas in 1979 to become the Youth director for the Southwestern Union Conference. In 1982, the position of association secretary was added to his responsibilities, and in 1985, he became vice president of the Southwestern Union.
In 1987, Shepperd received a call to the North Pacific Union as Youth director where he served until 1993, when he was called to the Pacific Union as vice president. Shepperd served in this role until his retirement in 2005.
Throughout his career, Shepperd was noted for his kindness, infectious smile, and authentic concern for others, as well as an enthusiasm for colorful neckties and his vintage Ford Mustang. Sali Butler, administrative assistant of the Pacific Union Conference, recalls that every morning before starting the day, Shepperd would walk the building to speak to all of the secretaries.
“He would catch up with our lives, children, and pray with us if a specific circumstance called for it. He would reach for our hand, bow his head, and pray,” says Butler.
In his retirement, Shepperd and his wife, Joyce, lived near family in Austin, and was an active member of the Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Church in Round Rock, Texas.
A memorial service and life celebration for Shepperd will be held on March 4, 2018, at the Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Austin; Gordon S. Jones, senior pastor of the Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Church will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please donate to “The Elder E. Wayne & Joyce Montgomery Shepperd Scholarship Fund” at Oakwood University.
— Jessica Lozano is communication director of the Southwestern Union Conference and editor of the Record; the NAD Office of Communication contributed to this report.