Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was officially organized on May 22nd 1988, but our congregation’s history dates back more than 30 years earlier.
Good Shepherd’s roots began when a number of young couples moved into the area in the mid-1950’s seeking an alternative to the large established Lutheran churches along Manchester Road. Mount Tabor Lutheran Church first met as a Christian body on October 25, 1956, and a month later held its first worship service in a single room in the United Neighbors Building. Folding chairs were used instead of pews and a stove in the middle of the room provided the congregation with physical warmth.
Twenty communicant members and 14 children attended the charter service on January 27, 1957, with Professor David Schuller serving as interim preacher and Reverend Elmer Maschoff as interim pastor. In December of 1957, services were moved to Schrader Funeral Home for two years. It was not until January of 1960 that Mount Tabor’s members had their own house of worship.
American Lutheran Church Package Mission #138 came into existence on June 19, 1962, when the land was purchased for a new church and a parsonage was purchased shortly thereafter. Reverend John Walker became the new church’s first pastor and one of his first tasks was to name the congregation. He chose St. Luke’s.
St. Luke’s held its first worship service on October 6, 1963, and the congregation was officially organized on February 23, 1964, with 51 confirmed members and 89 baptized members. In 1969, the loan from ALC was refinanced, removing St. Luke’s from mission status. Ground was broken for a new sanctuary on March 18, 1979, and the congregation that numbered 185 families held its first service in the new sanctuary on Good Friday in April of 1980.
We are now Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. There are two important reasons for this happening early in 1984. In January, Reverend Charles Mueller became the pastor of St. Luke’s, and a month later Reverend Paul Schwartzkopf was installed as Mount Tabor’s pastor. On January 28, 1986, Mount Tabor suggested that a merger with St. Luke’s would help both churches better minister to their congregations and the community. The merger was approved by both congregations in June of 1987, and they began holding joint worship services two months later. On May 22, 1988, St Luke’s and Mount Tabor became one congregation – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.