In May of 1957, Good Shepherd officially opened its doors. The fist pastor, Pastor Sid Nelson, was tasked with naming the new building. He reasoned that if people wanted to find a Lutheran church, they would look in the phone book under Lutheran, rather than look for a specific church name. And so, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd was born. The location was carefully chosen because at the time of construction, the area was one of the fastest growing areas of Lethbridge. Houses were being built in this suburb so soon schools and businesses and families would follow. And they did. The initial part of the church was designed and constructed with the idea that after a time, the first phase would become the recreational area of the church while a new sanctuary would adjoin it to the east. Although new offices and administration areas were added in 1985, we still worship today in the original sanctuary area today. In 1986 Good Shepherd joined the newly formed ELCIC organization (a combination of the ELCC and LCA) and has been a member of this group ever since.
Pastors who have served
We have been blessed to have been served by some wonderful pastors over the years. Pastor Sid Nelson was the first pastor and served from opening until 1960. Pastors who followed and their dates of serving are: Pastor Lokken (1960 – 1965), Pastor Hesje (1965 – 1968), Pastor Olson (1969 – 1973), Pastor Gartke (1973 – 1985), Pastor Jorgensen (1985 – 1992), Pastor Kochendorfer (1993 – 2002), Pastor Powell (2003 -2012), Pastor Peterson ( 2012 - 2017), and Interim Pastor Andrew Horne (2017).
Our early members did a wonderful job of planning our building to meet the needs in the 1950’s and for today. Although we have added a small addition to our building to install a lift for ease of accessibility to all floors, the basic building design has stayed the same. Two ‘fireplace rooms’ serve as multi-purpose rooms upstairs and downstairs. Washrooms, which have been recently renovated, are located up and down stairs. Our upper floor sanctuary comfortably seats 150 members and can easily accommodate various configurations because of our use of chairs rather than pews. Office space is available for our pastor and secretary and our place of welcome is warm and inviting as soon as one enters our church doors. Our basement features a large open area for Sunday School activities and newly renovated kitchen is used frequently for many activities. When you visit our church you will come to realize that many of the Scandinavian family names that began our church are still in evidence today as names for the younger generation.