Greetings and Welcome! Good Shepherd Lutheran is a church which believes that God has revealed His love to us through His Son Jesus Christ. We would welcome the opportunity to tell you more about this good news and to have you share in our fellowship. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. We look forward to serving you, our neighbor, and, together, our Lord Jesus Christ!
Rev. Austin D. Meier
(2022 - Present)
Pastor Meier came to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church after graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (CTSFW). He received and accepted a Divine Call from Good Shepherd and was ordained and installed as Pastor on July 10, 2022.
Pictured are Pastor Meier, his wife Elizabeth (Beth), daughter Agatha, and son Edmund. They are expecting their third child sometime in early February 2022.
On April 5, 1965, Pastor Bernard C. Gumz (Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Manitowoc, Wisconsin) became aware of the need to start a Missouri Synod congregation in the City of Two Rivers. A survey was conducted by the District Executive Secretary of Missions, the Rev. Bernard O. Raabe, who later became the first interim pastor.
On May 2, 1965, the first organizational meeting was held at Redeemer Lutheran Church.
There were eleven families (20 adults) from Two Rivers in attendance.
On October 27, 1965, the new congregation chose the firm of Stubenrach and Associates as architects for the new church and educational building to be erected on seven acres of land along Highway 147.
On December 15, 1965, the congregation was formally organized and chose the name of Good Shepherd on the first ballot. Other suggested names were Peace, Blessed Savior, Gospel, Resurrection, Salvation, Soul Haven, Good Samaritan, and Triune. Charter members included: Mr. & Mrs. John Anderson, (Rojene); Mr. & Mrs. Harlan Balko, (Curtis, Rick, & Janet); Mr. & Mrs. Carl Behring, (Mark, Glen, & Jean); Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Gehl (Alan & Mark); Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Heller (Todd); Mr. & Mrs. John Herrmann (Leanne); Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Leclair (Gary); Mrs. Esther O'Neil; Rev. & Mrs. Oscar Rockoff; Mr. & Mrs. Elwood Rieck (Gene & Gerry); and Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Usitalo (Randall). The charter membership consisted of 11 families, 28 communicants and 36 souls.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were on June 4, 1966, under the direction of Rev. Bernard O. Raabe. The sermon was delivered by Rev. John Potratz of Trinity Lutheran Church, Howards Grove. He also served as counselor for the circuit. Those first officers of the congregation included Carl Behring, President; Harlan Balko, Secretary; Eugene Gehl, Treasurer; and John Anderson, Financial Secretary.
On October 9, 1966, Good Shepherd celebrated its "Cornerstone" service. The Rev. B. C. Gumz preached at the service. Rev. Gumz proclaimed, "If one single soul, lost in eternity, learns his way to heaven and eternal life, it will be worth the time, effort, and money." Speaking of the partially-erected church building, Gumz went on to say, "These stones, steel, and mortar will serve as a reminder to those passing by of the respect due to God." The liturgist for the service was Rev. Bernard O. Raabe; the organist was Glenn Behring. The service concluded with refreshments served by the Good Shepherd Ladies Aid.
Several articles were placed in the cornerstone including the Holy Bible, charter membership, Constitution, newspaper articles pertaining to the mission church, floor plans, photographs of the original organizational group and a cornerstone laying service folder.
The completion of the building was expected in early 1967. It consisted of a nave, seating capacity of 240 persons, a multi-purpose room which was to be used as a Sunday School unit and fellowship hall, kitchen facilities, and a pastor's office. The building would be a brick exterior with concrete block back-up with wood trim.
On April 16, 1967, Good Shepherd had its dedication service. Rev. Raabe preached and acknowledged those who were instrumental in the construction of the church. It was also announced at the service that Rev. Ferdinand Timler, of Edgar, Wisconsin, had accepted the call to be Good Shepherd's first pastor and was installed on June, 4, 1967.
Pastor Timler served at Good Shepherd until April 12, 1970. Rev. B. C. Gumz served as vacancy pastor until August 1970.
Rev. Ferdinand Timler
On August 9, 1970, Rev. James A. Knuth was installed as pastor of Good Shepherd. At this time Good Shepherd was still a mission church. Officiating at the installation was Rev. Grant Quill of Sheboygan. Rev. Bernard Raabe (Executive Mission Director of South Wisconsin District) delivered the address. Rev. B.C. Gumz of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Manitowoc, was the liturgist. The Good Shepherd Choir sang special selections for the occasion. The installation was followed by a dinner which was served to all guests by the Ladies Aid Society.
During Pastor Knuth's ministry, Good Shepherd's congregation included 100 adult members and 50 children. Pastor Knuth left Good Shepherd in April of 1974. Rev. Leo Dietemeyer served as vacancy pastor.
Rev. James Knuth
(1970 - 1974)
Rev. John Brogaard
(1974 - 1980)
Rev. John C. Brogaard was installed as the third pastor of Good Shepherd on August 11, 1974. Rev. Leo Dietemeyer of Trinity Lutheran church, Sheboygan, officiated at the rite of installation as the liturgist. Rev. Grant Quill of Sheboygan was the Circuit Counselor and conducted the rite of installation. Rev. Bernard Raabe (District's Executive Secretary of Missions) served as lector. Rev. Harvey Krueger of Trinity Lutheran Church, Sheboygan, preached the sermon. He was the first vice-president of the South Wisconsin District. The Chapel Choir, under the direction of Roger Gottschalk, sang "Oh That I Had A Thousand Voices," "A Faithful Shepherd Is My Lord," and "Benediction."
The following year, Good Shepherd reached a milestone by becoming a self-supporting congregation and was no longer a mission church!
Pastor Brogaard left Good Shepherd in September of 1980. Pastor Theodore Weiss served as vacancy pastor.
Rev. Kenneth L. Dowdy was installed as the fourth pastor of Good Shepherd on June 14, 1981. Rev. Edwin C. Bek, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Sheboygan and Counselor of Circuit 11, officiated at the installation. Pastor Theodore A. Weiss was the liturgist.
The church balcony was added to the sanctuary in the summer of 1982. Under the direction of church member Dave Stroud, and with the help of many members, the balcony was completed. Three pews were placed in the balcony area for extra seating and for the use of the choir. The organ was also moved to the balcony area. Extra storage space was also utilized on each side of the balcony. During this time, five pews were also installed at the back of the church area to accommodate additional seating.
Rev. Kenneth Dowdy
(1981 - 1998)
The existing church mortgage was paid off in January 1986. This was quite an accomplishment as Good Shepherd first went off mission status in 1975. During this time, it was quite evident that we were outgrowing our current building. It was decided to move forward and enlarge the existing building. The addition would include a new kitchen, pastoral office, secretarial office, conference room, new fellowship hall, Sunday School rooms, and two restrooms. The new addition was dedicated on November 2, 1986.
In 1988, the old fellowship hall area was painted and remodeled to fit the needs of a new preschool that opened in September of that year. Fifteen children were enrolled and Sally Anderson Dick was hired as the teacher. Sally taught the 1989-1990 preschool session which had a total enrollment of 29 children. During that same school year, Barb Krueger was added to the staff as an assistant.
On November 5, 1989, church bells were dedicated as a memorial gift from Esther O'Neil, one of Good Shepherd's charter members. Esther had also been our church organist for many years. Pastor Dowdy served Good Shepherd for seventeen years, retiring in the fall of 1998. Rev. Richard C. Miller served as vacancy pastor.
Rev. William Kilps
(1999 - 2022)
Rev. Williams R. Kilps was installed as the fifth pastor at Good Shepherd on September 12, 1999, and retired in February 2022. Rev. Richard Miller, Circuit Counselor and pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, officiated at the installation. Rev. Scott Porath also of Redeemer, served as lector and Rev. Kenton Gottschalk, brother-in-law of Rev. Kilps, was the preacher.
The congregation called additional staff to serve the church in the past decade. Rev. David Hintz, was called as Assistant Pastor and installed on April 2, 2006. Following Rev. Kilps’ retirement Rev. Hintz served as vacancy Pastor.
The facilities of Good Shepherd have been utilized to host various educational organizations in the community. Along with a growing preschool, under the guidance and direction of teacher, Lori Kilps, the church also opened its doors in 2008 to host one of the Two Rivers Public School District's Four-Year-Old Kindergarten classes and, more recently, the Head Start Program in August of 2015. The church preschool closed in 2020. However, the Head Start program continues to reside at Good Shepherd.
Rev. David Hintz
(2006 - Present)
Most recently Good Shepherd issued a Divine Call to seminarian Austin Meier, 2022 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne. Rev. Austin Meier was ordained and installed as Pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on July 10, 2022.
Good Shepherd has received countless blessings from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray for God's continued guidance and growth in Word and Sacrament as we praise Him for His ongoing grace.