Following the last DUI conviction, friends and family pleaded with Greg to stop his lifestyle for another 2 years. After a situation in December 2001, one of Greg's friends asked him if he had ever been to church. Greg said he has been a couple times, but it wasn't for him. After weeks of this friend asking him to attend her church, he finally agreed.
Greg attended Idlewild Baptist Church on a Wednesday night and sat in the very back of the sanctuary. Greg tells that he didn't understand a thing that was said that night, but felt compelled to go back Sunday. On Sunday Greg sat in the very back once again, but on this occasion parts of the message started to resignate with Greg. He went back the following Wednesday and once again sat in the very back. He said that there were thousands sitting infront of him, but he felt as if the Pastor was looking dead at him several times during the message.
At the end of the message, the Pastor gave an invitation just like he had done the previous two visits. This night however, Greg said it felt like someone kicked him out into the isle and he walked to the front of the church and gave his life to Christ on Wednesday
February 20, 2002.
Greg was born and raised in Tampa, FL and was raised by his mom and two sisters. His father was an absentee dad spending most of his time in federal prisons, or running from the law. His two sisters were 14 and 15 years older than Greg, so they left home when he was still young.
With Greg's mom working two, sometimes three jobs to care for them, that left Greg with a lot of time to get int trouble. Greg began drinking at age 12, doing drugs by 14, and was an alcoholic before graduating high school.
For 16 years following his graduation, Greg continued a downward spiral getting deeper and deeper into drugs and alcohol. At age 32 Greg stood infront of a judge receiving his 4th DUI in the state of Florida. Under Florida law, Greg lost his license and the priveledge to drive for the rest of his life. Contemplating the situation he was in, thinking he will never find a woman that would marry a guy who can't even drive, or ever being able to drive his kids to the ball park he asked himself two questions. "Do I change my life, or continue to be a menace to society?" Feeling his life was ruined anyways, he chose the latter and continued to drink and drive without a license.
Since giving his life to Christ in 2002, Jesus has radically changed his life. He has been completely sober ever since. Greg has been an area director for Florida Men of Integrity, an Ambassador for Promise Keepers, a lay leader in men's ministry, and an associate pastor at two churches. Greg has also been able to help others through their trials of addiction.
The biggest blessing since giving his life to Christ is that God brought an amazing woman of God into Greg's life right after his salvation who didn't care about his past. Greg and Maria were married in less than a year from the time they started dating, and today they have a godly son named Caleb who is 13 ears old who gave his life to Christ when he was five. These are two of the things Greg never thought he would have.
After 9 years of leading teams and serving the people of Haiti, God has called Greg and his family to leave the United States and move to Haiti serving the Haitian people and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ full time. The Shepherds moved to Haiti full time on October 18, 2014.
Greg gives all the credit and glory to Jesus Christ for all that has been done in his life, his family and the ministry. He consistantly quotes one of his favorite preachers, Pastor Johnny Hunt from First Baptist Church Woodstock when he says, "The power of our testimonies aren't what we turn from, it's who we turn to!"
While helping to plant a church in Wesley Chapel in 2006, Greg lead a team to Haiti for a missions trip. God destroyed Greg's heart for the people of Haiti and the importance of missions. Two months after his return from Haiti, Greg incorporated a 501 (c) 3 non-profit called Florida Synergy, Inc. Greg started the ministry hoping to help strengthen the family by doing Men's conferences in the states to help fund the mission work in Haiti. After 5 men's conferences across the state with Steve Farrar it became clear that God wanted Greg focused on Haiti. Since 2006 the ministry has become RTS Missions and God has done more than we could have ever asked or imagined.
Over 100 trips to Haiti
Over 500,000 meals served
6 schools supported
4 churches built
Launched 2 RTS Academies
Employing 21 full time staff
Employ 7 part-time staff
Over 1,200 kids being discipled right now
Over 10,000 first time professions of faith