Sunday, November 7th 2021, please join us after service to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd! Be there to bring back memories of the church community throughout the decades.
Remember When… the Foundation
On a sunny fall day in September 1950 a man alighted from a car bearing California license plates. He walked up to a house and rang a doorbell.
“Do you recall a survey being taken a short while ago regarding the need for a church in this area? Do you feel the need to still here? I am Pastor Howard Lenhardt, sent here by the Board of American Missions to organize a church. WILL YOU HELP?”
Thus Good Shepherd was born
Remember When… Fire!
As described at the Good Shepherd 10th Anniversary celebration:
Come Black Thursday, March 24, 1960. In a raging snowstorm, one of the worst of the winter, the sirens sounded. Traffic stopped. Phones rang. People gathered. Disaster had struck.
A stunned congregation gathered about its burning church watching their labors, hopes and perhaps some of their faith go whirling up in flames and smoke.
While some stood shocked and weeping, youth of the church gathered about Council men and Pastor to form a brigade to carry church records to safety.
Hopeless! Good Shepherd’s spirit was down that night but not out.
The Council, led by its Pastor began planning steps back to recovery. They knew the road would not be easy, but the start made was given a great boost by the immediate offers of help.
Assistance came from churches and individuals for Sunday School materials, hymnals, chairs, portable organ, offering plates. Our long time friend Ellsworth Miller, on behalf of the Church Extension Society had ready funds available for emergencies. Homes were opened for meetings. The Church office moved to the Medical Building next door.
And – there we were – back in ta fire hall holding services. Kenilworth Fire Hall, headquarters of the brave firemen who worked hard, fast and desperately to save as much of Good Shepherd as possible.
Remember When… A Hero Amongst Us.
Remember When… Rebuilding.
Pastor Bryant and the council began planning steps to recovery. Redirection of the building program led to first refurbishing the burned building with a new face and adding a second floor for an education unit. Architects were contacted to revise plans for a new sanctuary. In celebration of our 10th anniversary, the first service was held in the renovated building April 23,1961 with Pastors Bryant, Lenhardt and Goetz, president of the WNY conference participating. After luncheon was served by the LCW, the groundbreaking ceremony was held with great joy, thankful hearts and anticipation.