Ministry Leaders

Pastor Dante' Murphy

Pastor Dante’ A. Murphy currently serves as president of the Pender County Branch NAACP and pastor of Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church in Hampstead, North Carolina.  These posts come after serving as president of the Cleveland County Branch NAACP and pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina.  


Pastor Murphy was born and reared in Pender County, located in southeastern North Carolina. As a child, he was captivated by the black church experience and felt early on God’s call upon his life.  Having confessed Christ as his Savior, he was baptized and joined Point Caswell Missionary Baptist Church in Atkinson, North Carolina.  At the age of nineteen Pastor Murphy preached his initial sermon and was ordained less than two years later by the Middle District Missionary Baptist Association as a result of being called to pastor Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church located in the Malpass Corner community of North Carolina.  Early on his pastoral career he found himself thrust in the midst of community action groups and having to negotiate with elected officials on behalf of underprivileged citizens.  His passion for civil rights was kindled in the mid-1990’s when participating in demonstrations to successfully oust a sitting District Attorney for North Carolina's Fifth Prosecutorial District from office after the repeated use of a racial slur towards a black man during the DA’s visit at a local bar in in New Hanover County.


After enrolling in Gardner-Webb University in the mid-2000’s to purse a second postgraduate degree, Pastor Murphy moved his family to Shelby, North Carolina where he continued his life’s passion as a social worker, pastor, and civil rights leader.  Pastor Murphy first made headlines during this time when he denounced the KKK as they allegedly started recruiting to increase membership in Cleveland County.  When asked several years ago by a local newspaper about his thoughts on the possible resurgence of the KKK in Cleveland County he expressed a greater concern over North Carolina legislators who possessed the power to pass unjust laws that hurt North Carolinians across the state.  He again made his way into newspapers and broadcasts when he spoke out about the county’s plan to redraw voting district lines, even being featured in a New York Times article.  The New York Times newspaper coverage of Pastor Murphy untiring efforts quoted him as using such words as "disenfranchisement" and "conspiracy" to describe North Carolina majority legislative branch's attempts to pass numerous anti-voting laws.  Pastor Murphy also gained notoriety and was highly publicized during the capture of Dylan Roof in Shelby, NC after he massacred nine blacks in a South Carolina church.  Pastor Murphy and a few other pastors were credited in the media with keeping the peace in the city after racial tensions began to swelter and threaten the day to day living of its citizens.  Due to Pastor Murphy’s involvement he, along with the city’s police chief, was granted clearance to attend the funeral of State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney, whereby United States President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy.  Pastor Murphy’s fight for justice in Cleveland County spanned over ten years and included numerous rallies, demonstrations, legal proceedings and law suits, threats of incarceration, and employment discrimination as he sought to be a mouthpiece for the religious community and underprivileged citizens.   


Pastor Murphy received his preparatory education in the Pender County School System and subsequently went on to earn his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1994, a post-graduate degree from Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC in 2004, and another post-graduate degree from Gardner-Webb University in 2010.  Pastor Murphy has also completed numerous other studies at Catawba College, Salisbury, NC, Shaw University, Raleigh, NC, Trinity Western University, Vancouver, Canada, and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. For over twenty-five years he has served as pastor for churches in Pender, Sampson, Columbus, and Cleveland Counties.  Pastor Murphy also served as First Vice-Moderator of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Association while in Cleveland County where he was responsible for all budgetary and finance operations of the assembly of churches.



Minister Annie Murphy

Minister, Pastoral Care & Counseling practitioner, and Child Welfare advocate, Annie Denise Murphy, is a native of Burgaw, North Carolina.  After graduating from Pender High School in 1986, she sought to fulfill her passion in bringing happiness and hope to the broken hearted by pursuing and ultimately completing an undergraduate degree in Parks & Recreational Management from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1992.  After many years of working as an advocate for children and families across North Carolina and volunteering for various organizations, she accepted her call into the ministry and preached her initial sermon at Shiloh Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina on February 12, 2012.  She was later confirmed by the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Association and received her ordination on June 30, 2015.  


Minister Annie Murphy has sought to fulfill the biblical mandate to "study" by completing her Master of Divinity Degree at Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC.  Minister Murphy is currently completing her doctoral degree at Gardner-Webb University focusing her professional dissertation on pastoral care and counseling with an emphasis on senior ministry within the African American Church.  


When asked to define her purpose in life, Minister Murphy humbly replies that her purpose is based on the very words of Jesus Christ in John 9:4-5 when the words were spoken, “I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Minister Annie Murphy has a deep desire to please God and declares that she will "go" wherever the Lord sends her "even if it means laying down on the steps of White House to bring God glory."  




Minister Lawrence (Larry) Shepard
Brother Larry Shepard is an associate minister at Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church where he was also baptized by Rev J.D. Jacobs at age 14. In October of 1980, at the age of 21, he was Baptized by the Holy Spirit during the time he was enlisted in US Army, stationed in Germany. In April of 1989, while stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, God called him to Preach the Gospel. The following month, he preached his trial sermon and received his license under the leadership of  Pastor Tommy L. Duren, at Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church. Since age 21, Brother Larry Shepard has spent the majority of his time learning and teaching. In September of 2016, Interim Pastor E.T. Coston of MMBC urged him to seek and also recommended him for Ordination. With the aid of Deacon Hardison, Brother Larry Shepard went before the Ministerial Ordination Board and was Ordained that November by the KEMBA association. Brother Larry Shepard credits the bulk of his learning to Dr. R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries. Brother Larry is married to Teffany S. Shepard, between them they have six children and 13 grandchildren.

 “I am a Prisoner; My Mind is held Captive by the Word of God, My Sentence Is Life Everlasting” (quote from Bro. Larry Shepard)
Minister Chester Ward

Subpages (1): Manhollow Deacons