Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was established in 1956 with 32 interested families. Initially, 21 men signed on as voting members. The original families included the names of Kuch, Klier, Subbert, Uthe, Koenig, Kuse, Seeman, Heyer, Lauffer, Simpson, Schuldt, Cohrs, Hopkins, Wischover, Lahti, Bell, Schinkowski, Schilling, Mather and Sangmeister. Some of those families still play an active roll in the congregation today.
The Rev. Adolph E Ullrich was installed as a part-time pastor on April 15, 1956. Regular worship services began a week later on April 22, 1956 at 1:30PM. The Sunday School met earlier at 12:30PM. They shared the building at 144 Hickory Street (currently a private residence) with the Methodists for nine months. The name of Good Shepherd for the congregation was inspired by one of the beautiful stained glass windows. 46 children were initially enrolled in Sunday School. Confirmation classes began with five children meeting for instruction in the office of the Frankfort Grain Elevator on Saturday mornings. Eighteen ladies of the congregation organized the Good Shepherd Circle on September 6, 1956. They would be an enormous blessing to the congregation for decades through their time and service. The youth group was begun in 1958 with the Subberts and Sangmeisters serving as adult leaders.
Anticipating growth in the community and in the congregation, land was purchased for a new church building on Sauk Trail. Ground was broken for the new building on November 15, 1987, with the formal dedication taking place on Good Shepherd Sunday, April 9, 1989. Land at the north end of the property, the old church building, and the parsonage were sold in 1988 and 1989. A new education addition and offices were dedicated on February 24, 2002.
A contemporary worship service was added on Sunday morning for the first time on March 21, 2002. This created our current Sunday schedule with worship at 8:00AM, Sunday School from 9:30-10:30AM, followed by 10:46 Worship. A traditional, morning-only preschool was begun in the fall of 2006 as a mission of the congregation. In 2015, the difficult decision was made to close the preschool at the end of the school year. In 2015, we didn’t move but our address was changed from 295 Sauk Trail to 177 Luther Lane. It couldn’t be more appropriate for a Lutheran congregation.
Since 1956, the congregation has been served by the Rev. Adolph Ullrich (its first pastor), Rev. Erwin Baumgartner, Rev. Fred Ade, Rev. James Dishop, Lay Minister Jay Mather (a son of one of the original families), and Rev. Kevin Hahn (the current pastor).
Lest anyone takes credit themselves for the mission and ministry of Good Shepherd, the name of this congregation reminds us who deserves all the glory. It is none other than Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd and Savior. With his heart for the lost and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Good Shepherd looks forward to what he has in store for us in the future!