From its beginning Good Shepherd has been a church of vision. It was built by vision, led by vision, and has a vision for the future.
Built by Vision
In the 1930s Pastor W. J. Kowert of St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Elgin saw open fields on the near west side of Elgin filling with people who needed to know God and have a place to worship. Led by that vision in 1938 Vicar Louis Schuth began contacting people, and worship services began November 20, 1938 in a fire barn. The congregation was formally organized as Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in July, 1939 with Louis Schuth as the first pastor. The first church, now the parsonage, was built on Van St and dedicated in 1939.
Led by Vision
As Good Shepherd grew and thrived, it continued with a vision for bringing God to people. Led by Pastor Schuth, the congregation established a mission congregation in 1955 for the developing northwest part of Elgin. This congregation was formally organized as Calvary Lutheran Church in 1956 with Paul Knuth as the first pastor.
Good Shepherd also had a vision to help young families bring their children to God. Under the leadership of Pastor LeRoy Koepke it began a Christian day school in September 1961 with Lois Block as the first teacher.
In the 1990s as the far west part of Elgin began to develop, a vision developed for Good Shepherd to bring God and a place to worship to the people who would live there. Under the leadership of Pastor Roger Pollock property was purchased at the corner of Nesler Road and Highway 20. In 2005 the Good Shepherd Christian Life Center was dedicated. It is home to Good Shepherd’s worship and ministry including a preschool that reaches out with God’s love to youngsters and young families.
Vision for the Future
With the way prepared by Interim Lead Pastor Dennis Perryman and now led by new Senior Pastor Steven Maske, Good Shepherd moves into its next chapters with visions of loving people into living relationships with Jesus in the changing neighborhood around the original campus at Van St and the developing area around the Nesler Road campus.
For 75 years God has led Good Shepherd and has blessed its visions. It will be exciting to see how He will continue to lead and bless the vision in the years to come.