January 1, 1963 was not only the start of a New Year but it signified the beginnings of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wells, Minnesota. It brought together the First Lutheran Church, which was of German heritage, and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, which was of Norwegian heritage, merging both heritages into one for God’s Glory.
Good Shepherd has been blessed their fifty years with 15 different Pastors each with different talents and strengths, serving the Good Shepherd congregation by preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments.
Pastor Ernest Stolen (1963)
Pastor Arthur Lunow (1963)
Pastor L. James Sjolie (1963 - 1970)
Pastor Fred Lehne (1963-1965)
Pastor John M. Mikkelson (1965-1972)
Pastor Burton H. Schwerin (1970-1982)
Pastor William H. Kees (1973-1975)
Pastor James O. Olia (1975-1982)
Pastor Craig H. Hanson (1982-1987)
Pastor Raymond E. Arveson (1982-1999)
Pastor Dennis Timmerman (1987-2000)
Pastor Jane Timmerman (1987-2000)
Pastor Paul A. Baker (2000-2006)
Pastor Margaret “Meg” Sander (2000-2010)
Pastor Kathy Fullerton (2008-2013)
A quote by William Drayton states “Change starts when someone sees the next step.” Good Shepherd Lutheran is no exception to that statement. The people of people of Good Shepherd welcome changes because they see the next step in the ministry to their congregation and their community. In 1967 Good Shepherd saw the need for a new parsonage for their pastor. The minds and hearts and education of the youth of Good Shepherd are also important. In 1973 additional space in the form of a new wing was added to make more room for teaching our youth about our Lord and Savior.
Fellowship and sharing meals have always been an integral part of the life of Good Shepherd and in 1998 the members of Good Shepherd updated their kitchen so it would continue to be a gathering place for many years to come. You can find the Social Hall and Kitchen by listening for the laughter and conversation that takes place frequently when people are sharing a meal or a Bible Study. Or smell the delicious aroma drifting down the hallways enticing you to join the activities in the kitchen and social hall.
The change continued for Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd recognized that it needed to make the church accessible for everyone. In the year 2000 a handicapped elevator was added along with air conditioning for those that have a difficult time with the heat during our hot summers. A library was added on the same floor as the sanctuary and in 2001 a removable altar and freestanding oil candles were also added to the Sanctuary.
Worship is at the heart of a congregation. Worship sometimes seems to be the place where change is the hardest but Good Shepherd makes those transitions easily because it recognizes that change brings a new awareness of God’s word. In the past 47 years the congregation has transitioned from the Red Service Book and Hymnal, The Green Lutheran Book of Worship, The Evangelical Lutheran Worship Book, With One Voice, the Praise and Worship Book and finally the Cranberry Hymnal. On Saturday evenings at 5:00 P.M. and Sunday mornings at 9:00 A.M. the pipe organ built in 1991 or the Kwai Grand Piano can be heard lively accompanying the range of voices raised in song praising our Lord at worship.
I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ.” This was a quote made by David Brainerd, Missionary to the Seneca and Delaware Indians (1744-1747) of New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania
This quote made in the 1700’s still applies today in the year 2010 and Good Shepherd has supported the following missionaries that have devoted their calling to the mission field and leading souls to Christ:
Missionary and Mrs. Clifford Biel in Brazil
Missionary Patricia Bentsen in Madagascar
Missionary and Mrs. Gus Ziegler in Senegal
Missionary Natanael Lizzarazo and Pastor Barbara Wangness in Columbia
Pastor Kermit and Bonnie Slem in Cameroon
The following members of Good Shepherd have served as full time workers in The Lord’s Vineyard in the United States and around the world:
Sister Arnetta Beyer
Pastor and Mrs. David Lee in Hong Kong
Mr. And Mrs. Charles Hanthorn in Liberia
Miss Jill Loegering in Hong Kong
Dr. and Mrs. A.B. Peterson in many countries with Global Missions
Miss Lael Hagen in West Africa
Dr. James Groskreutz
Pastor Donald Groskreutz
Pastor Alfred Putz
Pastor David Putz
Pastor Neil Lindorf
Over the years Good Shepherd has supported Global Projects that emphasize the importance of reaching out to those in other nations such as sharing in the cost of building the Lutheran Church Retreat Center in Bogota. This retreat center was named after Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Good Shepherd also helped fund a rural health project that brings medical care to the poor and in Tanzania Good Shepherd is working with the Central Dioceses-Singida providing student scholarships at several schools in Kiomboi.
That brings us to the year 2013. What are we doing in 2013 to witness to Christ?
In 2013 Good Shepherd participates and provides the following:
Annual Church Auction
National Youth Gathering
Journey To The City
Vacation Bible School
Women of the ELCA
Church Ministry Teams for Worship, Property, Outreach, Missions, Social Ministry, Youth, Education, Endowment, Stewardship
House Local Food Shelf
Participate in Habitat for Humanity
The staff at Good Shepherd led by Interim Pastor Mary Iverson and Ministry of Care & Concern Laurie Stoeger are dedicated to serving the members of Good Shepherd and welcoming anyone that wants to join us in serving the Christian Community.
Our Pastor is assisted by Administrative Secretary Andrea Groskreutz and Church Treasurer Ardene Breitkreutz.
The neatness and cleanliness of our church is in the capable hands of Kent Stern Church Custodian.
We raise our voices in song with the talent of Jean Carlson and John Degner, Organists, Contemporary Team Director and Choir Director.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”