getting to know Tanikka...
TaNikka Marie Sheppard is a mentor, minister and spiritual leader who engages with teens and young adults around the nation through her mission work, mentoring groups, and ministerial and motivational speaking opportunities. She provides workshops and leadership development programs for community and church leaders, which teaches them how to positively develop programs and outreaches to youth and young adults. She has had the opportunity to speak in a variety of venues including schools, churches, colleges, community meetings and national conferences. In addition to this, TaNikka has been fortunate to work with young people outside of the United States in teen camps and churches in Canada, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Germany.
TaNikka was born in Akron, Ohio to William and Glenda Sheppard. She is the middle child of 7 children. In 2009 she was licensed in ministry at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church (NSMBC) under the pastoral leadership of Dr. Keith A. Troy. However, TaNikka began her journey in ministry while she was very young. At the age of four TaNikka begin ministering through music with members of her family. For many years she played the cello in a string quartet with her three sisters TaKeysha, TaLisa, and TaRia Sheppard. Their group, the Strings of Glory ministered at churches and venues around the state and nation until the girls graduated from high school and went to college.
While in college TaNikka saw a need for a ministry that would nurture the spirit and souls of young women on college campuses. Therefore, she founded the Alpha Nu Omega Sorority in 2000. Three years later the ministry became an incorporated chapter of the national organization, which bears the same name. In 2001 TaNikka also founded the Coalition of Christian Women with a vision to build bridges across generational, racial and economic gaps in order to form relationships that would empower women to transform their lives, families and communities.
TaNikka received her two B.A. degrees in Sociology and African American & African Studies from The Ohio State University in 2002. In May of 2010 she graduated from the Methodist Theological School of Ohio with a Master’s of Divinity degree and a specialization in Youth Ministry. She is currently at doctoral candidate.
For four years TaNikka worked as a constituent aide at the Ohio Senate and in 2002 she served as the State Director of the Freedom’s Answer Program at the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. From 2004 to 2008 she served in the Life Development Department of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church as the Youth and Young Adult Events Coordinator. In June of 2008 she became the full-time Youth Coordinator at NSMBC with the responsibility of developing and growing a Christ-centered, youth-focused, relationship-based, family-friendly, purpose-driven Youth Ministry. Currently, TaNikka serves as the Director of Life Development at NSMBC where she coordinates and develops ministries, small groups and community outreaches to over 400 young people in middle school, high school and college. She also leads various citywide initiatives that support and promote positive character development and community service opportunities for youth and young adults.
TaNikka is a team member, and former leader, of the International Youth Development Department of the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, which provides national and international opportunities for youth and young adults to become compassionate and productive global citizens that play an active role in making a difference in the world. She is also involved in various community and international mission organizations. However, it is by God’s power and for Christ’s glory that she tries to live by the words said by Jesus in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
where you will hear from tanikka
TaNikka is the New Dreams head conference planner and the NABWU Administrative Committee has asked her to be our keynote speaker to kick off the Assembly on Thursday evening.