CONGREGATIONAL HISTORY
This is a ​​ brief history of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

There are many details and events not included in this brief but significant history account,
but know that the people of Good Shepherd are willing to share their story with everyone. 

The story may be long, however and most importantly, all the events are Spirit-filled
with wonderful people who love the Lord. We hope you are filled with the same Spirit
as you read this brief history and ministry of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. 
  1. Good-Shep-2
 ​​​​​In May of 1945, 24 persons started meeting for bible study in Whittier School, Royal Oak under the leadership of Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Milarch of Truth Lutheran Church, Detroit.  
 
In 1946, the Michigan District Mission Committee of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) sought a loan from the ALC to purchase 320 feet of frontage on North Campbell Rd., the present location of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and in the Spring of 1947, Good Shepherd was organized and a call extended to Pastor Robert Wietelmann. He was installed as Good Shepherd's first pastor.
​​​​ November 2, 1947 was Good Shepherd's charter worship with 40 members present with the name of ​​
"Good  Shepherd" being submitted as the church's name and the ministry of Good Shepherd was on its way. 
 
In 1949, building plans were approved and ground was broken in May 1950 on a first unit church building with construction starting in June with a construction crew of "Mission Builders" -  six Lutheran men who dedicated their time to helping congregations build church buildings.
 
By 1952, the congregation had grown to 180 people with 2 worship services and two Sunday School sessions weekly and another addition in the planning stages. In addition to the growth, a parish assistant was hired and the congregation's first intern, Mr. Eldor Panning arrived in 1958. A second intern, Mr. Jack McCollister arived the following year.
 
Pr. Wietelmann left Good Shepherd in 1961 after serving 14 years to become an assistant to the president of the Michigan District ALC, serving in that capacity until he was elected president of the district in 1967.
 
Since that time the congregation saw significant growth and the calling of several pastors...  
​​

Rev. Roland Troike... 1960-1966

Rev. Donald Little Associate... 1962-1966

Rev. Donald Kearns... 1967-1975

Rev. Donald Blake Associate... 1967-1972

Rev. Timoth Keeler Associate... 1975-1980

Rev. Walter Schmidt... 1980-1989

Rev. Garnet Haase Associate... 1985-1994

Rev. E. David Spencer... 1989-1993

Rev. William Heil... 1994-1997

Rev. Thomas Scherger... 1998-2015

Rev. Dennis Meyette...2015-2016 (Intentional Interim)

Rev. Michael Walters...2016-2018​

Rev. Philip Hemke...2018

Rev. Christine Thomson..2018-2019 (Intentional interim)

Rev. J. Krister Ulmanis...2019 -
 
 CONFIRMATION CLASS 1964
The 1980's saw many changes. The congregation baptised its' 1000th member, called its' first woman pastor, celebrated its' 40th anniversary, and saw the merger of 3 Lutheran denominations, Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, Lutheran Church in America, and American Lutheran Church to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1986. 
 
In 2004, under the leadership of Pr. Thomas Scherger, Good Shepherd entered another chapter of her ministry with Our Savior Lutheran Church's merge with Good Shepherd. The churches were separated by only a mile.  Our Savior Lutheran was dwindling in attendance when the State of Michigan approached the congregation in purchasing their property for I-75 expansion. The congregation sought out Good Shepherd for merger. All agreed this was a positive move for the ministry and community.  
 
In 2016, Good Shepherd found itself in transition once again. With the retirement of Pr. Thomas Scherger and the appointment of Pr. Dennis Meyette as its Transition Pastor in 2015, Good Shepherd called a new pastoral leader, Pastor Walters , who began September 1, 2016 and retired April, 2018.  

The transition and turmoil that began in 2015 continued. Good Shepherd welcome the Pr. Philip Hemke as its pastor in 2018. Following his very brief tenure at Good Shepherd Pr. Christine Thomson began as Transition Pastor in 2018 but had to leave in early 2019 due to serious helath issues. In July 2019 Pr. Krister Ulmanis was called as a 3/4 pastor for a 2 year Term Call.


For almost 70 years, Good Shepherd has been Spirit-filled and has done wonderful ministry in the Royal Oak community. The future remains bright as passionate and Spirit-led people continue to serve this community faithfully. We see how the love of Christ is being shared in the wonderful work being done at Good Shepherd, not only with local ministries, but also reaching out worldwide, and with the help of God, we will continue to be a beacon of light shining in the darkness, sharing the love of Jesus to a sometimes broken world for years to come.