Get to Know Good Shepherd
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Current membership is over 1700 Souls and 1400 Communicants. The membership is diverse with all ages well represented. There are many families with young children who take advantage of the excellent Christian education afforded by Good Shepherd Lutheran School, our Christian day school which includes grades K - 8, Preschool and Daycare. We are also a member of the Metro East Lutheran High School Association.
Our goal at Good Shepherd is to preach and teach the Gospel of God's forgiveness in Jesus, to live by that faith, and to share that faith with everyone. In the midst of a culture that is drifting in many different directions, we are a fellowship of people whose foundation is God's word and whose focus is Jesus Christ. We are not ashamed of or try to hide our orthodox Lutheran faith. We believe that God gives truth and mercy, and that this is what all people need.
Good Shepherd was organized as a mission congregation on November 12, 1958. Initial membership was 79. In 1963 the congregation built its first sanctuary seating approximately 300 on 13 acres of real estate in northern Collinsville. The congregation grew steadily and various building programs added additional seating, office and classroom space. In 1984 the church started Good Shepherd Lutheran School. The School grew rapidly and now has over 300 students in grades K - 8 and 120 in Preschool and Daycare. New building programs added additional classrooms and a gymnasium. In 1985 the congregation called an associate pastor and has had two pastors ever since. A total of seven men have served as Pastor at Good Shepherd including the present two Pastors. Increasing membership caused the congregation to plan a new sanctuary seating approximately 500. The entire design, fund-raising and construction process took five years and the building was dedicated on April 11,1999. Click here to read a more detailed history: Good Shepherd History
In 2015 GSLC member Phyllis Wallace interviewed many of the former pastors and leaders of Good Shepherd to get their perspectives on our church. You can listen to the interviews at http://goodshepherdcollinsville.podbean.com
Good Shepherd is committed to liturgical, reverential worship. Holy Communion is celebrated at all weekend services as well as at many of the special seasonal services. We use The Lutheran Service Book and the traditional Orders of Worship at all weekend services. Hymns from other sources are also frequently used by being printed in the Bulletin. Various adult and youth choirs sing at different services. Occasionally a contemporary singing group performs as part of the normal worship. Unity in the faith is one of the important things we would like to promote in our main worship service. There are many things that we divide up into different groups: Bible studies, youth programs, men’s and women’s ministries, etc. But we believe there should be one thing that we can all do together in the church – worship. This means that the young and old, male & female, sophisticated and simple all need to make a few compromises regarding their likes and dislikes in worship styles. With God’s help we seek a unified approach to worship that serves the entire congregation.
Children in Worship:
We encourage children from infancy on up to participate in worship. To help with this we provide three things to help children in worship. 1. Restless children can be taken to the narthex (entry area) and held. Parents can still participate in worship since the service can be heard through speakers. 2. If your child is having an especially difficult day, we also have a nursery in the Lower Level. Normally the nursery is for children ages infants to three years. 3. During the sermon one of the pastors will meet with the children up to and including kindergarten age in the narthex. A parent may accompany if necessary. Here the pastor will share a children’s version of the same message heard by the adults. We will also sing children’s songs as well as songs from the worship service. We learn the Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, and even a verse from one of the easier hymns. From first grade on we would like to the children to participate in the regular worship service.
There are many classes in which to learn and study the Bible at Good Shepherd. On Sunday mornings between the worship services each pastor leads a Bible Class on a different topic. The children's Sunday School also takes place at this time. Twice each year we offer Adult Confirmation Classes that meet on Sunday mornings between services and on Saturday afternoons before the Saturday evening service.
Throughout the school year we offer Junior Confirmation Classes on Tuesday evenings for 7th and 8th graders. We also offer a Bible History class for 5th and 6th graders. Good Shepherd has also been blessed with a Christian Day School program. Bible classes and are taught by our teachers and pastors during the regular school week. Good Shepherd is also an association church with Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville.
We are trying our best to increase participation in Bible study. Christian worship and the Christian life are both blessed by the time spent meditating on God’s Word. When we look at the ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the Apostles, we can’t miss the fact that these early disciples were devoted to the study of God’s Word as well as to prayer, service, and outreach.
The Youth Ministry is now under the direction of our Youth and Family Life Director, Tom Westphal. Please visit the Youth page for more information.
The main campus of Good Shepherd is located on 13 acres in northern Collinsville. It consists of the School, Gymnasium and old sanctuary complex which is connected to the new sanctuary by an enclosed, windowed walkway. The new sanctuary is a contemporary design with traditional features. Each floor is approximately 12,000 square feet. The lower level includes a walkout fellowship hall which is also used for Bible Classes with the help of a soundproof folding wall. This level also includes the church offices, large conference room, kitchen, rest rooms, child care room, mechanical space and an elevator to connect the floors.
The sanctuary on the upper level has a seating capacity of 450 in theater style seating with an additional 50 in the Choir balcony. Glue-laminated arches set on a 45 degree angle raise the roof to a height of 46 feet to create a sense of the transcendence of God. A large Narthex provides a place for members to converse and socialize before and after services. The Chancel furnishings, including the Altar, Pulpit and Baptismal Font were all custom made in a simple yet strong design to keep the emphasis on the Word and the Sacraments. Worship is accompanied by a 16 rank Wicks pipe organ and a six foot Samick grand piano. Click here to read a more detailed description of the Sanctuary from the Dedication Program: Sanctuary description
A prominent feature of the sanctuary is the three stained glass windows. The windows were produced by Emil Frei Stained Glass from designs by Brother Steve Erspamer of the Society of Mary in St. Louis. Frei Studios and Brother Erspamer are in demand world wide for their exemplary work. The large Altar window features the Word and the Sacraments. One of the side windows is the seal of Dr. Martin Luther which is often called the Luther Rose. The other side window is a contemporary image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd emphasizing his humanity. A complete stained glass windows explanation and additional photographs are available at this link: Window Explanation