WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When Reverend Rudy Shepard walked into the Davis Health Care Center recently, he got a big surprise.
Each Wednesday morning, he, along with members of his church, Peace Baptist Church, arrive around 10:00, for music, a spiritual message and fellowship. But this Wednesday morning, instead of his weekly sermon, the staff and residents wanted to honor him in a big way, for his over a quarter of a century service.
Reverend Shepard started volunteering with what was Davis Nursing Home 26 years ago, and he hasn't stopped since.
"I was looking for an outreach, a place where our church could reach out to, and try to be more of a part of the community," said Reverend Rudy Shepard. "So I came on board then, every other week, to help out."
Juanita Kaufmann, a resident of Davis Health Care said Shepard "makes you feel special."
Reverend Shepard has also presided over many funerals at Davis Health Care for people who did not have their own pastor.
But what makes this story even more special is that Reverend Shepard has never asked for any monetary compensation for his weekly services and says that providing for the spiritual needs and visiting the residents is his joy.
"It has been a tremendous blessing in my life as well, as the life of our church," said Reverend Shepard. "And they have allowed me to give back thru this ministry."
"Having someone here who can bring a familiar message, a familiar hymn just really makes the residents here have a smile, have a great day and know that they are kept in the arms of God, and this is what they believe in," said Julie Rehder, Marketing Director of Davis Health Care.
So for his dedication of spreading the message of God for so many years at the health care facility, WECT honors Reverend Rudy Shepard as our February Cape Fear Hero.
"I am hoping that my life is settled here and that I will finish out the use that the Lord has for me, right here in this community," said Reverend Shepard.
For being selected as our February Cape Fear Hero, the Shepard will receive a $500 gift certificate from Reed's Jewelers.