Our History

The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd was organized on April 14, 1957 with 99 charter members and 82 children. This was the result of 10 months of “door knocking” by Ralph Hayley and Rev. George H. Hoog. Rev. Hoog left the congregation on June 23, 1957.

Rev. John E. Cooperrider was installed in 1957. On March 20, 1958, we acquired three acres of land on the east side of Elmhurst Road south of Hintz Road. We broke ground September 27, 1959 and our “Day of Joyful Entry” was August 7, 1960. Rev. Cooperrider resigned at the end of 1966.

Rev. Dennis A. Anderson was installed February 26, 1967 and many new programs were initiated. We laid the cornerstone of our present sanctuary September 20, 1970. Lightning struck a roof beam during construction and had to be replaced. From the original beam, members fashioned the large wooden cross which now hangs above our alter. Rev. Anderson resigned in January, 1971.

Rev. Anton P. Weber was installed on July 18, 1971. We started Adult Bible classes. Rev. Curtis White became Asistatant Pastor, and served from 1973 to 1975. In February, 1976, Rev. Frans A. Victorson became our Assistant Pastor and expanded our youth program through scouting. After 20 years, we expanded and remodeled our Fellowship Hall (All Saints’) and offices to create or library lounge. We purchased a 12-rank Moeller pipe organ. Rev. Weber resigned in 1980.

Rev. David B. Mattson was installed on April 1, 1981. We began outreach missions. After the death of Assistant Rev. Victorson on May 22, 1983, Rev. Bobbie Blackburn Holle was installed as Assistant Pastor (January 1984). The Schulmerick Carillon and Bell Tower were dedicated to Rev. Victorson’s memory. After difficulties, Reverends Mattson and Holle resigned. Rev. Michael Schnell became our Vice Reverend, and Rev. Alden Solstrum became our Interim Pastor. Our long-range plans, concentrating on neighboorhoods, began during that time.

Rev. Paul E. Flesner was installed in December, 1985. in 1988, we became part of the ELCA. Rev. Pamela Mayer-Caes was called as Assistant Pastor. In 1990, Westminster Chimes and a Digital Clock were added to the carillon – a time piece for the community. Rev. Mayer-Caes left on January 29, 1995.

Rev. Mark Rich joined us as Assistant Pastor in July, 1995 and resigned in 1997. Rev. Gretchen Winkler was installed on September 8, 1996 as Assistant Pastor. The Stephen Ministry, a Contemporary Worship service, and the Arts Council were all initiated during this time.

In 2000, we began the first phase of our Garden of the Resurrection, a place for meditation and the scattering of cremains. Rev. Winkler resigned after 4.5 years, and Rev. Maureen VanHeerden joined us as Assistant Rev. in 2001. Our life-sized bronze sculpture of the Good Shepherd was installed into the Garden of the Resurrection in September, 2001.

Rev. Flesner resigned in December, 2004 and left in June, 2005.

Calling a new Senior Pastor occupied most of 2005. Rev. VanHeerden acted as Interim Pastor, and shared preaching duties with Rev. Vivian Becker (retired).  Near the end of 2006, Rev. Margaret (Peg) Otte was installed as pastor.

In 2006-2007, we enjoyed a year-long 50th anniversary celebration we called “Walking with the Shepherd.”

Rev. Otte left Good Shepherd in 2009.  Interim Pastor Sue Schneider led the congregation during its search for a new pastor.

In June of 2011, Good Shepherd called Rev. Eric Schlichting as pastor.  He began by the end of the month, and was formally installed on July 31, 2011.  We invite you to join us in this hopeful time of new pastoral leadership and continued hospitality at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.

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