Long-time executive director Phil Goble Jr. is leaving his post at the The Shepherd’s House, Mount Airy’s homeless shelter, with the organization’s shelter manager taking his spot.
Goble Jr., who has steered the shelter for nearly four years, announced his resignation last week. He will be leaving effective September 30, to become senior pastor at Blackwelder Park Baptist Church in Kannapolis.
Shelter Manager Amy Cook will be assuming the post upon his exit. She has been with The Shepherd’s House since it opened, starting part-time before accepting a full-time position in 2004.
Cook has managed all of the day-to-day operations of the shelter at different points in her tenure. She is experienced and well-known to donors, community groups, and other shelter supporters. Cook will be the third executive director in the history of The Shepherd’s House.
“Promoting Amy to executive director was an easy decision and a natural progression for our organization,” said Jason Pike, chairman of the board for The Shepherd’s House. “She has more hands-on experience with the Shepherd’s House than anyone I know, and a strong passion for the work that she does. We are very pleased and excited that she has accepted the position.”
“I think she will do a great job,” he said. “The board couldn’t have picked a better person. There’s no one who knows that place better than she does.”
Goble said he decided to leave because he felt the call from above to make the change.
“It’s always something I’ve known that I was being led to do,” he said of becoming full-time minister of a church. “I just didn’t know where or when.”
For the past year, Goble said, that call has been even stronger.
“Last summer it became very evident that this was something I needed to do,” he said. “We kept praying about it and this position opened itself to me. I guess I was waiting for God to open the door.”
He said that through the process of getting to know the church, there were times when he felt there were obstacles he wouldn’t be able to overcome.
“But every time something was put in my way, God pulled it out of my way,” he said. “Every need was answered.”
Goble said his time at The Shepherd’s House has been an “amazing and incredible journey.”
“I am so honored and blessed that the board decided to give me an opportunity four years ago to become the executive director,” he said. “It has been a highlight for me and will always hold a special place in my heart and life.
“When I took the job, I had business experience and faith-based experience, but no experience with a non-profit,” Goble added. “The board took a chance on me and let me learn my way.”
The board of directors hired Goble in October 2010.
An ordained pastor, Goble had spent most of his career in journalism, working in the newspaper business locally for several years before going to The Shepherd’s House.
When he started at the helm of the shelter, it was operating both as a homeless shelter and a domestic violence shelter. Goble helped guide the transition to operating in its current incarnation through a refocus and reorganization of its mission and future goals, and even helped the organization weather one point where it was about to close because of a lack of funding.
“Phil has done an excellent job during his tenure as our executive director,” said Pike. “He went above and beyond his duties on various occasions, and has not only been a great member of our community, but a very good friend to me as well.
“This is a bittersweet moment,” Pike added. “While we are sad to lose Phil, we are equally happy to see him get the opportunity to fulfill his calling from God to lead a church. We certainly wish nothing but the best for him and his family.”
Goble said he had the opportunity to see the hand of God in every aspect of his time at the shelter.
“The biggest thing I learned from it was through watching God work,” he said. “There were times we weren’t sure we were going to be able to keep the shelter open, but we prayed and put it in the hands of God and he took care of what we needed. He put it on the path He wanted it to be on.”
The Shepherd’s House is a 501(c)3 non-profit homeless shelter. In its 11-year existence, the shelter has helped more than 1,400 women, children and families by providing more than 35,000 nights of shelter and more than 110,000 meals.
“The Shepherd’s House is an amazing ministry,” Goble said. “It has been a privilege to watch God work the past four years to encourage, help and bolster this work. I am confident that God has great things in store for The Shepherd’s House, its staff, board and, most importantly, its clients.
“We will continue to support and pray for the shelter and the lives it touches.”
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-415-4698 or via Twitter @strangereporter.