History

Like most projects, Shepherd Christian Community has its beginning as a dream in the heart and mind of a man, Ben Bradford, who, after retiring from the Miami business he had built over thirty-seven years, began to look for a suitable place to bring that dream to life, a place where retired Christians could live in peace and contentment, away from noisy city life, and enjoy happy Christian fellowship while serving the Lord.

In the early 1970s, after a two-year search, Ben, and his wife, Reba, settled on the south shore of Lake Reedy, and there began Shepherd Christian Community. The property at that time was spotted with dilapidated cabins and sheds, unheated farmhouses, an A-Frame enclosed by torn screens, and a twenty-acre orange grove, but that could not conceal its promise from the visionary, who purchased the site.

By the mid-1970s Bradford had begun to attract other believers, who began to settle in and renovate the property. Little by little new homes were built, and over the years more people were attracted to the beauty and tranquility of the property, and the transformation from a forgotten parcel of land, to the lovely Christian Community of today, was accomplished.

One of Mr. Bradford’s major goals for Shepherd was the establishment of a New Testament assembly in Central Florida. The nearest assembly was about 80 miles away, and now there was a sufficient number believers in the area to begin regular meetings. In January 1977, the Christians met in a home to remember the Lord for the first time.

Ben was one of those taking part. A brother later recalled that his prayer was the most touching he had ever heard him offer. He later wrote:

“On January 23, 1977, a group of Christians had the thrilling experience of participating in the birth of a new Assembly at Frostproof, Florida. It was something that each of those attending will never forget. What a wonderful, delightful experience it was to all who attended! The perfume of that Beautiful Name was as ointment poured forth, and enveloped everyone, and was carried by them for the balance of that day, and continued for many days.”

Time passed, and in 2004, Shepherd Christian Community found itself on the market, and was being eyed by a commercial developer. At that same time, Christians vacationing in Florida learned of the opportunity to purchase Shepherd, and continue the vision of its founder. Before the year was out, they purchased Shepherd, and committed themselves to continuing the beginning principles of its founder, Ben Bradford.

While some things change, Shepherd Christian Community remains a quiet, safe, and affordable retirement community in Central Florida. Many folks return year after year to pass the winter months in Shepherd’s ideal climate, and relocate here upon their retirement. The assembly, Frostproof Bible Chapel, continues on the grounds, holding forth the Word of Life to this day.