Our Foundation 1971-1973
In the 60's Howard's population rapidly increased. The congregations of Bethel, Calvary, Grace, and Trinity Lutheran Churches envisioned a mission for the Howard/Suamico area. In August 1971, Reverend Richard Lind was called. Forty-five families formed a parish in the village of Howard. Service began September 12, 1971 at the Howard Elementary School lead by Reverend Richard Lind. Good Shepherd held its first organizational meeting on December 4, 1971.
A 6 1/2-acre-building site was purchased and transformed into a house of Christian worship and fellowship. Construction began in August of 1972, and was ready for the first 9:00 Church service and Sunday School class on December 17, 1972.
The dedication service of the church was held May 20, 1973 with a total of 75 charter families in the congregation.
Since that time, the one-level house of worship with movable chairs, instead of pews, has grown in many forms, spreading the Word in a variety of ways. Church evenings are filled with youth groups and activities, committee meetings, spiritual study, choir practice and simple suppers and worship during lent.
After 6 1/2 years of foundation building, on January 22, 1978, Pastor Lind handed over the baton to Reverend Harvey J. Jaeger. Continued growth in the community resulted in growth in the congregation.
Fellowship Hall 1985-1987
A building committee was formed and construction began on the Fellowship Hall addition in 1985. After many hours of work by the members of the congregation, the addition was completed and dedicated on September 13, 1987
With the additional space, the church was able to fill spiritual needs through the Nursery School of ages 3 & 4; Sunday School for preschool through sixth grade; three worship services a week; Bible studies; and confirmation classes.
Pastor Harvey Jaeger announced his retirement in 1997, and for approximately one year the congregation was served by Interim Pastor Alan Schafmeyer. Pastor Frank Kauzlarich served as Pastor from July 1998 until October 2014. Pastor Beth Macha served as interim Pastor beginning January 2015. Pastor Jen Fite began serving as permanent Pastor in February 2016.
With the explosion in population in the Howard/Suamico area in the 1990’s, Good Shepherd began to examine its long range plans. In 1999, the Church Council underwent a strategic planning session and committees were formed to address the needs of the ever-changing population. The music ministry was expanded to include a bell choir, and the youth ministry continued to grow. A Facilities Committee began work to survey the congregation and explore the potential of its physical plant. After many years of research and consensus-building, the congregation approved the addition of a new sanctuary and narthex for the church.
New Sanctuary 2004-2006
A capital campaign was launched in the fall of 2002, and ultimately raised $350,000 over a three year period. This initial investment allowed the church to begin work on the new sanctuary. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 27, 2004. Following an uplifting worship service, the congregation moved outside for the official “first shovel of dirt” and an aerial photo.
Work began on the new sanctuary in the late fall of 2004, and was completed in February, 2006. Officially dedicated on Feb. 26, 2006, the new sanctuary can seat 350, with a large narthex for fellowship and overflow seating.
A second three-year capital campaign began in 2006 and raised an additional $145,000.
Today, Good Shepherd is a thriving congregation in the midst of one of Wisconsin’s fastest growing areas. We continue to reach out to share Christ’s love with all.