Church History

History of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was organized on February 5, 1950, with 65 charter members. The Reverend Harold E. Park, who had served as mission developer, was called as first pastor and served until August 31, 1956. The first service of the group was held on September 11, 1949, in the Carolina Children's Home Chapel. Services were held there until the property on Forest Drive was secured. On this 3-3/4 acres of land existed a large, two-story frame dwelling. The first floor of this house was converted into a room suitable for worship with smaller rooms arranged for educational purposes. The pastor's family lived on the upper floor.

Assisted by the Home Mission Board of the SC Lutheran Synod and the Board of American Missions of the then-United Lutheran Church of America, the Good Shepherd congregation began the erection of a church building in 1955. A full basement furnished facilities for classes and group activities until numbers necessitated the addition of a separate educational building in 1962.

Work on the educational building was hastened because the original frame building used for Sunday School purposes was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1961. Groundbreaking services for this educational building were held on March 25, 1962. This addition was completed in the fall of 1962 and contained 16 rooms, including the pastor's study, and was conveniently located at the rear of the church. An addition to the church office complex was completed in 1977 and a multi-purpose Fellowship Activities Building (FAB) was constructed in 1980-81.

The Rev. Larry S. Long became pastor of Good Shepherd in 1975. During this period, the congregation strengthened its ability in ministry through the enlargement of its staff. The years since 1987 were a time of growth for the congregation of Good Shepherd -- in membership, in service to the community, and in facilities. Under the continuing leadership of the pastors, the Good Shepherd congregation voted unanimously on January 28, 1990, to adopt a revised master plan, to accept preliminary schematic drawings for a new sanctuary and educational, music, and administrative facilities, and to hire a professional fundraising consultant. In the spring of 1990, Resources Services, Inc. of Dallas, Texas led Good Shepherd in successfully raising of over $700,000 in pledges.

On August 4, 1991, a Groundbreaking Service was held for a new sanctuary and work began on the new worship building with educational/music facilities, a new parking lot and renovation of the existing sanctuary into administrative offices and a meditation chapel. On September 13, 1992, Dedication Day and Homecoming Day were celebrated with worship in the new sanctuary, which has seating for over 450. The building included a new pipe organ; additional ranks of pipes were added in 2006.

Numerous renovation projects have occurred in Good Shepherd’s Sunday School rooms, nursery, youth room, and other areas. Major renovations to the FAB kitchen included commercial appliances dedicated in April 2004, and a narthex expansion with a new classroom below dedicated in April 2006.

The 50th anniversary of Good Shepherd was celebrated throughout 1999. Former pastors preached at one service a month for the entire year. The first service of the year was a Heritage Service following as closely as possible the September 11, 1949, service, including liturgy from the Common Service Book. In 2008, the Congregational Council appointed a Board of Directors to direct the affairs of the newly-formed Good Shepherd Development Foundation for the purpose of providing financial assistance to the church for carrying out its religious, charitable, educational, and other tax-exempt purposes. On July 19, 2009, a mortgage-burning service was held after a generous gift was given by a long-time Good Shepherd member to pay the outstanding debt on the sanctuary building and narthex expansion projects. In 2012, the church roof was replaced with a zinc roof at a cost of approximately $620,000.

Good Shepherd has had 15 pastors:

Senior Pastors: Rev. Dr. Harold E. Park (1950–1956), Rev. Dr. Alton C. Clark (1958–1976), Rev. Dr. Larry S. Long (1975–1995), Rev. Dr. Herman R. Yoos (1996–2009) and Rev. Paul Wollner (2010–2017) and Rev. Andrew W. Isenhower (2019-present).

Associate Pastors: Rev. Henry M. Moody, Jr. (1977–1980), Rev. George L. Sims (1981–1984), Rev. Karl Frederick Suhr, Jr. (1984–1986), Rev. Dr. Ronald W. Feltman (1987–1996), Rev. Dr. Christina L. Wendland (1997–2001), Rev. Mark J. Wendland (1997–2001), Rev. Robert L. Helton (2002–2008), Rev. Kathleen Chartier (2009–2012), and Rev. Kristopher Litman-Koon (2012–2017).