The Shepherds

Home /

The Original Gospel Creator

The Shepherds, a family oriented ministry, was founded thirty-five years ago by Oliver Edwards, Sr., affectionately known as “Pops.” The original Shepherds drifted away from each other after touring and selling their debut record in Memphis and throughout the Bible belt for over a decade. Pops, who loved singing quartet style gospel music, kept on rehearsing. The family tradition has carried on through his two sons and close friends. Their commitment to ministry is what keeps them going. “We want to minister to people where they are,” says Pop Shepherd. With their grass roots approach, they are reaching that man or woman that does not know Christ.

Having the opportunity to perform with gospel artists such as The Williams Brothers, Shirley Caesar, Georgia Mass Choir, Jackson Southernaires, Tommy Ellison & the Five Singing Stars, Canton Spirituals, Mighty Clouds of Joy and Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson. The Shepherds’ strong spiritual influences attract everyone they come in contact with.

Their CD “Trilogy” is a testimony of what God has done in their lives. Their previous recordings, “Live In. Durham,” “Alive and Restored,” and “Hiding Places,” were released by Tyscot Records. Hiding Place was produced by Michael Brooks, formerly of Commissioned. The project survived eight years. 

Pops, Oliver Jr., an evangelist, and Joey are the glue that keeps the group together. Joey is also the musical director within the group. Shakil Barlow, the youngest member of the group, is responsible for the fresh sound of The Shepherds. Kenny Hampton keeps the beat strong as the drummer. Jeffery (J.J.) Williams, Lead Singer adds to the melodic sound of the Shepherds.

“We want to minister to the people where they are and make sure we make a difference” says Oliver Jr. Some of the greatest leaders in gospel music are gone now. It is our responsibility to maintain the stand in the millennium.

Producer Michael Housten of Tyscot said of the group, “The Shepherds have the ability to capture the gospel spirit that lives down inside us, and causes us to lose ourselves in the music.”

True quartet singers to their hearts, The Shepherds were once told by a prophet that things would deter them. The prophet said we must be holy. “As we stepped up to that call, doors began to open. Our desire is to constantly draw nearer to God, that he may draw nearer to us,” sights Oliver, Jr.