Shady Oak Baptist Church
Pastor Douglas Simmons is a spiritual leader, ministerial visionary, and altruistic philanthropist, who has inspired and encouraged many to pursue a personal relationship with God.
Possessing a commitment to education and to the studies of Theology, Pastor Simmons received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Claflin University, in Orangeburg, SC. His zeal for teaching, preaching, and spiritual leadership, encouraged him to later pursue and acquire a Master of Divinity degree, which began at the historic Morehouse School of Religion on the campus of The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA. He completed his Master’s from Liberty University Lynchburg, VA.
He is proud to have served his country in the United States Army where he fought with other great men and women during Operation Desert Storm/Shield. He was later commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves and underwent Chaplaincy training at The U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, SC. Pastor Simmons began his ministerial journey in April 1996 at Lovely Hill Baptist Church in his home town of Smoaks, SC. After being ordained in 1998 by the Lovely Hill Baptist Association, He was called to his first pastoral ministry at Greater Sydney Park Baptist Church in Bamberg, SC. After a short tenure with Greater Sydney Park Baptist Church, he was called to pastor Springtown Baptist Church also in Bamberg, SC.
In June of 2002, Pastor Simmons began his service as the shepherd of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Eastover, SC where he faithfully fulfilled his calling for twelve years. During those years, God has led the church through transition, renovation, transformation, and much inspiration. The lives of the congregants were enhanced spiritually, psychologically, socially, and economically. He also served as Vice Moderator of The Wateree Baptist Association Upper Division from October 2008 through 2013 after which, he assumed the office of the Moderator until October of 2014.
Pastor Simmons is known for his gospel preaching and for his practical approach to the Bible. He challenges people to have faith in Jesus Christ. He continuously seeks God for guidance in making best use of his God given gifts and talents to impact the areas of church leadership, growth, and development and to make further advances in the Kingdom of God in this contemporary age of the African American Church. In October 2014, Pastor Simmons accepted the invitation to become the Senior Pastor of Shady Oak Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. He is confident that his pastoral ship at Shady Oak is the will of God and that he is the servant for such a season as this. He has been married to Ronda Risher Simmons for 20 years and God has blessed their union with two beautiful daughters, Taylor Savona and Tyra Renae Simmons.
His life is guided by the scripture verse of Romans 10: 15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”