Dr. Debra Cole founded the Good Shepherd's Society in June of 1994. She did this in response to a need in India, where Pastor Haron Kumar had founded over twenty indigenous churches, but did not have a base of support in the United States. Dr. Debra had said to family members from four years of age that "I want to be a missionary doctor."
She completed medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and her residency training in internal medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern California.
After three years of active duty in the United States Army (and eight years as a Reserve and National Guard officer), she began the missionary journey with a trip into the Ugandan jungle. This took place immediately after the dictator Idi Amin had been ostracized from the nation he had brutalized. From there the journey has continued into seventeen nations.
She has assisted such diverse groups as Youth for Christ, Youth with a Mission, Mercy Ships, African Evangelical Enterprise and churches that include the Assemblies of God, independent churches, Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics (and others too numerous to mention).
As a child her life was influenced profoundly by three figures - her two grandparents, George and Nora Goss, and her mother Patricia Gideon. All three believed strongly in the various churches working together. All three taught her about Christ and how important it is to commit our lives to Him. When she thinks of them, she thinks of the inscription on her grandfather's grave which reads, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even until the end of the age."