The Harvest of Talents, celebrating its 30th year with its Oct.
26 event in the Lincoln Christian Church Fellowship Center, is the
unique "every person" hunger ministry of the church.
Shepherd, who graduated from Lincoln Christian College and
Lincoln Christian Seminary, has served in ministries in Missouri,
Illinois, Texas (Dallas Christian College) and California. He
recently retired from ministry at the Anaheim Christian Church,
where he served for 13 years.
When living in Illinois, Shepherd became interested in weaving as
a diversion from the responsibilities and stress that accompany most
aspects of ministry. By the time he reached California, he was
searching for something offering more of a "high touch" sort of
experience. Remembering that he watched an elderly woman hook rugs
during his childhood, he decided on a whim to make a rug as a
"I guess I could say I was hooked," notes Shepherd. "Although I
am self-taught, for the most part, I like to say that I 'hook by
"Part of the reason I have been so successful is because I have
spent so many hours honing my communication skills -- skills which
pay off as I teach, write and film instructional videos on this art
Shepherd is currently director of Cambria Pines Rug Camp,
regularly offered the first full week of June at Cambria Pines
Lodge, Cambria, Calif., as well as director of the online Internet
Rug Camp. He regularly teaches private and group classes in Anaheim,
Calif., and has also taught at various biennial conventions of the
Association of Traditional Hooking Artists. He is also serving
as co-director of the 2013 ATHA Biennial in Long Beach, Calif.
Known for his particular passion of introducing rug hooking to
multiethnic children and adults, he has traveled as far as Russia,
England, Canada and Australia to teach this art form. His hooked
rugs have been featured several times in Rug Hooking Magazine and
the ATHA Newsletter. Four of his works have been chosen to appear in
"A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs": "Fog" in 2002, "Russian Birch"
in 2004, "Miss Weigle" in 2005 and "Big Momma" in 2009. "Russian
Birch" was also chosen as a "Reader's Choice" finalist. In 2003 he
served as one of four judges for "Celebrations XIII."
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Although most of Shepherd's work is based on his original
designs, he has re-created two rugs for the U.S. Park Service.
Working with black-and-white archival photos, he designed and hooked
two rugs that had been lost from FDR's Top Cottage at Hyde Park,
N.Y. These rugs went on display at Hyde Park in 2004.
Shepherd is a frequent contributor to Rug Hooking Magazine. His
published works include "The Rug Hooker's Bible"; "Prodded Hooking
for a Three-Dimensional Effect"; his latest book, "Prepared to Dye";
and over 80 professionally produced instructional DVDs on various
topics associated with the making of traditional hand-hooked rugs.
On a personal note, Shepherd comments that rug hooking has opened
up many doors of witness that he might not have had otherwise. He
receives calls and letters asking for prayers and counsel from all
around the world because he is well-known as "the rug-hooking
Shepherd resides in Anaheim, Calif., with his wife, Marsha, and
For a gallery of Shepherd's work, teaching schedule, original
patterns, links to companion sites and information about Cambria
Pines Rug Camp, visit www.geneshepherd.com.
The public is invited to attend the Oct. 27 service of
celebration at 10 a.m. in the Earl C Hargrove Chapel of LCU. The
service will feature a parade of flags from all of the countries
that have been recipients of Harvest of Talents funds over the past
29 years. A check representing the proceeds of the 30th Harvest will
be presented to Rick Jett, executive director of International
Disaster Emergency Service. The multimedia worship service will
conclude the weekend activities of the Harvest of Talents for World
In the past 29 years the Harvest of Talents for World Hunger has
raised over $1,718,145.23, every penny of which has been channeled
to missions worldwide to alleviate spiritual and physical hunger.
[Text from file received]