Eugene M. Sheppard
Founder, Lydia’s House and Chairman of the Far SW-SE CDC
Rev. Eugene Sheppard is the founder of Lydia’s House and the Far Southwest-Southeast Community Development Corporation (CDC), as well as founder and Senior Pastor of Living Word Church. Through his work and visionary leadership, Pastor Sheppard is addressing the spiritual, social and economic deprivation that has plagued many of the low-income and at-risk families living in the District of Columbia.
Pastor Sheppard formed Lydia’s House in 1990 as a non-profit organization committed to Growing Children, Strengthening Families and Changing Neighborhoods. In 1991, Pastor Sheppard established Living Word Church to address the spiritual and emotional needs of the men, women and children living in far southwest and southeast neighborhoods known as Anacostia, Congress Heights, Bellevue and Washington Highlands.
In 1998, Pastor Sheppard founded and served as the founding chair of the Far Southwest-Southeast Community Development Corporation (CDC) to help foster economic development and spur economic growth. By promoting Brownfield redevelopment and environmental stewardship, Pastor Sheppard believed that the Far SW-SE CDC could lay the foundation for job creation, affordable housing and neighborhood sustainability.
Through his efforts, Lydia’s House and the Far SW-SE CDC opened 3939 “The Zone” in June 2003 officially marking the completion of a joint public-private effort to provide the residents of Ward 8 with video conferencing capabilities, three state-of-the-art computer labs, after-school youth programs, community rooms, and financial and housing counseling services for adults. “The Zone,” allowed Lydia’s House and the Far SW-SE CDC to extend its reach into the community by providing social services and educational resources to help children and families compete and thrive in the 21st century.
Rev. Sheppard has been ministering to the body of Christ for over 30 years. As a pastor, teacher and evangelist, he has traveled throughout the United States and has done foreign mission work in Haiti, India, South Africa and England. He was schooled in biblical studies at Trinity Bible College, Beth Messiah Bible College and Washington Bible College.
Rev. Eugene Sheppard is married to Patrice Sheppard. Together they have five children and are the proud grandparents of 13 grandchildren and great-grandparents of 6 great-grandchildren.
S. Patrice Sheppard, the founder of Lydia’s House, served as the Founding Executive Director. Mrs. Sheppard is a fourth generation Washingtonian and the great granddaughter of Kelly Miller, Dean of Mathematics at Howard University and the first African American to study Astrology at Johns Hopkins University.
To continue her heritage, Mrs. Sheppard formed Lydia’s House along with her husband Pastor Eugene Sheppard, to encourage, educate and empower children and families in the District of Columbia.
The mission of Lydia’s House is to improve the quality of life for low-income and at-risk children and families living in far southwest and southwest neighborhoods known as Anacostia, Congress Heights, Bellevue and Washington Highlands. To accomplish this mission, Lydia’s House focuses on Growing Children, Strengthening Families and Changing Neighborhoods.
Under Mrs. Sheppard’s leadership, Lydia’s House grew its programs and services to provide after-school education for children ages 6-12, technology-based skill development and entrepreneurial training for older youth ages 13-21, as well as substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention programs, adult literacy, welfare-to-work job readiness training, employment referrals and food and clothing provisions. As the only Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved faith-based housing counseling agency in Bellevue, and one of two housing counseling agencies in Ward 8, Lydia’s House is making it possible for first time home buyers to purchase property in the Washington metropolitan area.
Before founding Lydia’s House, Mrs. Sheppard served as the Deputy Executive Director for the National Association of Minority Contractors. She also held positions in the Office of the Secretary and Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in the District of Columbia. She pursued a business management degree from Southeastern University, Washington, DC and a marketing degree from University of the District of Columbia. In addition to serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for Lydia’s House and Managing Partner for Trinity Plaza Commercial, LLC, Mrs. Sheppard is also the Executive Pastor of Living Word Church where her husband Eugene Sheppard is the Senior Pastor.
Patrice Sheppard is married to Rev. Eugene Sheppard. Together they have five children and are the proud grandparents of 13 grandchildren and great-grandparents of 6 great-grandchildren.
S. Patrice Sheppard
Founder, Lydia’s House