For almost 20 years, Pastor Richard Sheffield has served as the pastor of Riceboro Church of God. He said he enjoys leading the small congregation.
Before he came to Riceboro, Sheffield, who was born in Miami and raised in Dublin, Ga., met the late Rev. Willie Anderson. A longtime member of Riceboro Church of God, Anderson invited Sheffield to come and serve as the pastor.
Sheffield has been in the ministry since 1975 and has served as a pastor since 1980. “I served 11 years as a pastor in Texas,” he said. He took over at Riceboro Church of God in 1991.
Sheffield also has been serving as the pastor at Evening Light Church of God in Sandersville since 1991. Riceboro Church of God has services on the first and third Sundays at noon and Sunday school at 10:30 a.m. Bible study is at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Evening Light has worship services on the fourth Sunday of each month.
“For 2011, we are believing God for 50 additional people. We want to raise up disciples to be learners at the feet of Jesus and who will also become disciple makers,” Sheffield said.
He said the Church of God congregation is full of love and has the ability to give. “Church members have a big heart. They give a lot and I believe they love me, too,” he said. The church is about 70 years old.
“We still have a family problem and the church is the only institution to address family problems. When you become part of the church, you become part of what God is doing and there is victory in the end. I enjoy serving the people,” Sheffield said.
As part of its evangelism and mission outreach efforts, Riceboro Church of God has a food bank. “We are fulfilling the sayings of Matthew 28:19-20 and Matthew 25. We minister in giving a glass of water in Jesus’ name,” the pastor said.
On Jan. 15, the church celebrated its 13th annual food bank rally with a program. The Rev. Harry Lloyd of Midway was the guest speaker.
“We provide a place for the GANG (God’s Anointed New Generation), which consists of a group of young people, to come and have their practices. I believe because we have allowed them to come in for their rehearsals, we have found favor in the eyesight of God,” Sheffield said.
He said Dr. Horace Germany, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X have had a profound impact on him. “Dr. King’s teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ are real. He was about love and non-violence. I respected Malcolm X’s doctrine and teaching, although I don’t fully agree with them,” he said.
“When I got saved in 1975, I met Dr. Germany at camp meeting. He invited me to come to Kendleton, Texas, to attend a Bible college. Dr. Germany could have been a multi-millionaire, but started a Bible college instead,” Sheffield said. “I also played basketball to help pay for my education while I was in Bible college.”
Sheffield has a bachelor’s degree in Christian education.
His advice to other pastors is to stay focused. “We are victorious by faith. Sometimes we focus on success and failure. Don’t pay too much attention to success and failure. Reign with Jesus right now,” he said.
Sheffield and his wife Monica live in Dublin. She is a teacher with the Dublin school system. They have four children and four grandchildren. Sheffield is a past president of the NAACP and has served on the Dublin School Board for 12 years. He currently serves as the chairman of the board of education.
“I enjoy carpentry work and am a carpenter by trade. I like woodwork and promised myself to make a dollhouse. Doing things with wood has always been tranquil,” he said.