“Now the Lord had said unto Abram get thee out of thy country and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” Genesis 12:1 (KJV)
After years of service at the Little Ark Baptist Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Rev. Matthew Marcus and continued service under the leadership of Rev. James L. Carter, Rev. Wilbur Giles had a vision from God to open the doors of Shepherd’s Heart Missionary Baptist Church. On June 2, 1991 that vision became real with the help of Rev. Dr. Eddie R. Wilson, the Dean of the Virginia Seminary of Religion, an extension Lynchburg Virginia. Our first service was held on Sunday, June 2, 1991 at Edmondson and Hilton Street in Edmondson Village. At this service, the pastor and founder, Rev. Wilbur C. Giles, served Holy Communion.
The charter members of this church were, Rev. Wilbur Giles, Sister Mary Giles, the Late Deacon Nehemiah Teasdell, Sister Willie Mae Teasdell, the late sister Mildred Dean, Brother Andre Teasdell and the late Sister Ruth Shannon. On June 11, 1991, the first church meeting was held. At this meeting, it was moved by Brother André Teasdell and seconded by the late Sister Mildred Dean that Rev. Wilbur Giles become the pastor of the Church. The meeting was then turned over to our pastor and founder. Rev. Giles asked the question of the members “Where do you find yourself in this ministry?” Several answers were given. The late Deacon Teasdell became the first Financial Secretary. The late Sister Mildred Dean was the second signature. It was moved by the late Deacon Teasdell that Brother Andre Teasdell become the first Trustee and Sister Mary E. Giles seconded the motion.
In October, 1992, we marched from Winchester and Carey Streets to 1210 Riggs Avenue where God richly blessed us with a permanent worship facility. In 2001, as a result of Baltimore City’s community improvement initiatives in the Winchester area, we were forced to look for another worship facility. God blessed us to move to our current location, 5405 York Road, on November 21, 2003. Our first service was held on November 23, 2003 in the upstairs auditorium.
Seeking assistance for the spiritual and administrative tasks of the church, Rev. Giles appointed Minister Castro Skinner, Jr., now pastor of Flat Rock Baptist Church, as his Assistant pastor in 2005. Under the leadership of these two preachers, an evangelism ministry was formed, as well as Christian education workshops were designed and facilitated for the members of Shepherds Heart.
God lead Rev. Dr. Sandra Conner to Shepherd’s Heart in 2005 and upon her joining the church, she assumed the responsibility for many of the administrative functions of the church. Responding to her call to preach the gospel, Pastor Giles was lead by God to let her preach her initial sermon on Sunday, July 16, 2006. In this capacity, she designed and facilitated New Members’ training, as well as workshops to address the needs of Shepherd’s Heart members and the community.
Continually focusing on the needs of its members and the communities it serves, SHMBC established a food pantry in 2008; a men’s fellowship in 2009; began featuring creative dramatization of God’s word and our history in 2009, and a women’s ministry in 2011.
In April, 2013, Pastor Giles held meetings with the joint board and began discussing opportunities for church growth and his plans to become Pastor Emeritus, giving his recommendation to the board to elect Rev. Dr. Sandra E. Conner as the Pastor Elect. The board, as well as the church accepted his recommendation in May, 2013. Pastor-elect Rev. Dr. Sandra Conner was installed on Sunday, July 28, 2013 as the second pastor of Shepherd’s Heart Missionary Baptist Church.