The Founders

The Shepherd’s Staff Ministry, located in Montgomery, Alabama, was established in 1990. Remarkable circumstances orchestrated by a faithful Heavenly Father brought the Dicksons from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to Alabama in 1985.  

Founder, Linnie Dickson and his wife, Debbie responded to God’s call of “follow Me” and found their Virginia home was a magnet for people whose only hope was the message of the cross presented in a compassionate, tangible way.

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Nathanael, Debbie, Linnie & Dallas
The Dickson Family


Battered women with children in tow, bitter runaways carrying all their earthly possessions in paper bags, young women with broken dreams and unplanned pregnancies, broken people ready to give up made their way to the Dicksons’ door.

Academic preparation for the work that would become The Shepherd’s Staff included Biblical Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and a Social Work degree from Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Temple Baptist Church in Madison Heights, Virginia provided Linnie and Debbie with mission outreach, student leadership, and jail ministry experience.  This valuable experience only reinforced the Dicksons’ belief in the necessity of strong families and the family’s impact on society.  Linnie and Debbie moved to Alabama in 1985, making a two year commitment.  What began as a work to provide a loving family for ten young men became a lifetime labor of family building and restoration.

Today, The Shepherd’s Staff is a total family ministry serving through hands-on assistance and  volunteer networking.   The Shepherd Staff serves as a resource link, partners with numerous service agencies, and utilizes a dedicated group of outstanding servant/volunteers.   Whether equipping foster/adoptive families; furnishing a tutor to improve a third grader’s reading scores; sharing Biblical truths with the elderly; or transporting an addict to rehab, the message of The Shepherd’s Staff is the same: Jesus offers life, fulfilled & eternal.