History of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
The following history of our church was written for its 65th Anniversary Jubilee, celebrated on
February 14, 2019.
In 1952 the Northwest District Mission Committee sent Parish Worker Miss Janet Tews to make a survey of the Boise Bench Area. As a result of her survey the Northwest district elected to open this mission.
Candidate Mervin Kellermann was called and commissioned to begin work in this area.
Under the name “Bench Lutheran Mission”, the first service was held on September 13, 1953, in rented quarters at the corner of Vista Avenue and Cherry Lane.
On January 31, 1954, the Mission moved into the frame annex of the Franklin School, Franklin Road and Orchard Street.
After much careful consideration, the property on the Southwest corner of Orchard and Cassia Street was purchased. The property was approximately five acres in size and had a house suitable for a parsonage. Funds were provided by a loan from the “Conquest for Christ” funds. The property, including house and other exterior buildings were purchased for $14,965.81.
On June 18, 1954, the order for a shop-fabricated chapel was placed with the Carlton Lumber Company of Portland, Oregon. The cost of this chapel was $7,800.00 plus $794.40 for transportation, making a total of $25,792.58 for all buildings and property.
On June 24, 1954, a groundbreaking ceremony was held with twenty-six persons in attendance, including members and friends.
On September 12, 1954, one year after the opening of the Mission, the first service was held in the new chapel, in spite of the fact that there were no windows, doors, shingles, interior walls, floors, or plumbing.
The name “Good Shepherd Lutheran Church” was chosen as the official name of the congregation on December 5, 1954. The congregation was organized on January 16, 1955, when the Constitution was adopted and signed by the present members. The membership consisted of 66 souls and 26 communicant members.
On February 6, 1955, the first Voter’s meeting was held. A call was extended to Pastor Kellermann to become the first pastor of Good Shepherd, which he accepted. The first congregational officers were elected.
As Pastor Kellermann prayed, “As we begin another year in the service of the Lord, may our prayer ever be Lord, Thy will be done.”
Thus, 1955 brought us closer to our goal. On Sunday, April 25, 1955, our “Little Red Church” was dedicated with an afternoon and evening dedication service. Pastor Amos Schmidt of the Northwest District was guest speaker for the afternoon service; the choir was from Grace Lutheran Church, Caldwell. The evening service saw Pastor Theo. Brackmann of Ontario, Oregon, as the guest speaker, assisted by Pastor O. Winterstein. Miss Carolyn Ernst of Caldwell was the Guest Organist for both services. Mrs. Leslie Henderson, a member of Good Shepherd, was soloist for the evening service. The ladies of St. Paul’s, Boise, brought and helped serve the lunch served between services.
In July 1958, five years after beginning the mission church, Pastor Kellermann accepted a call to McMinville, Oregon.
In December of the same year, Pastor Feiertag came to Boise to become our second pastor. With his great missionary abilities, we grew in souls and with it our Sunday School increased rapidly. One year after Pastor Feiertag arrived here a new brick home on Malibu Road was purchased for a parsonage. The house on the church property was converted into the much needed Sunday School rooms.
In the fall of 1962 Pastor Feiertag accepted a call to Moab, Utah, area to be a missionary at large.
In September of 1963 nearly a year later, Pastor Lachmann came to us from Nebraska. During the time he was pastor here the Kindergarten program was started.
In the spring of 1964, a building committee was appointed. After a great study of our needs and viewing of other new churches in southwest Idaho, the services of Edgar Jensen of Boise was secured.
In the early spring of 1965 final plans were approved by the congregation and the Mission Board of the Northwest District, Mr. Don Neumann was secured as our builder and on May 16, 1965, ground breaking ceremonies were conducted, and work was begun almost immediately.
The Dedication Services for our new House of Worship were held on November 28th, 1965. Pastor John Feiertag was the guest speaker in the morning service and was assisted by Pastor Lachmann. The guest speaker in the afternoon service was Pastor E. W. Henrichs assisted by Pastor Richard Gross. The evening guest speaker was Pastor Mervin Kellermann and he was assisted by Pastor Kermit Kaczor of St. Paul’s.
Choirs of both Good Shepherd and St. Paul’s furnished the music. Organists were Mrs. Harold Hogan for the morning service, Mr. Don Braun for the afternoon service and Mrs. James Canning for the evening service. Soloists were Mrs. Harold Hogan and Mr. Herbert Braun.
In May of 1969, Pastor Lachmann received a call to Odessa, Washington, which he accepted. He left in June to assume his duties there. Pastor Leonard Glaser of Aberdeen, Idaho, was sent a call to become our Shepherd, which he accepted. He was installed on July 26, 1969. He served as our faithful pastor, even though he was besieged with an illness. God answered our prayers and he was permitted to remain our Pastor till 1982.
In the late summer of 1970, construction was begun on a new parsonage which was located on the west end of the property. In December of 1970 the parsonage was dedicated and the Glaser family moved in just before the Christmas holidays.
The Fellowship Hall was dedicated in 1982. Also shortly thereafter Rev. Leonard Glaser accepted a call to Christ the King Lutheran Church in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Later he also served at Post Falls, Idaho.
Rev. David Hrachovina was called by Good Shepherd from Trinity and Mt. Calvary Lutheran Churches in Parma and Homedale, Idaho where he served from 1978-1983. He accepted and served Good Shepherd from 1983 to 2010. Pastor Hrachovina’s wife Doris was called to glory in 2001.
From 1984-1986 the congregation was served by two Vicars, Brian D. Hagler and Michael D. Harman. Rev. Hagler served from 1984-1985. He is no longer on the Synodical Roster, and presently his whereabouts is unknown. Rev. Harman served as vicar from 1985-1986. In 2005 he was serving at St. Peter Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in Newell Iowa and shared a letter to Good Shepherd; he has most recently served as sole pastor of St John’s Lutheran Church in Wykoff, Minnesota from 2015 to present.
Three sons of the congregation have gone into the Holy Ministry. Rev. Bryan Lindemood is serving at Trinity Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in Rupert, ID. Rev. Andrew Gruenhagen is serving at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Wayne, Michigan. Rev. Keith Reeder is serving at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Emmett, ID.
The Congregation, motivated by the grace of God in Christ Jesus, made plans to expand the Preschool and Kindergarten into the Elementary Grades. From March to June of 1994 much work was done by volunteers and the Laborers for Christ on a “Renovation Project” on the Fellowship Hall to prepare it for classes. The stairs to the basement were turned around to meet building codes. The basement was finished and furnishings added.
The Lutheran Day School opened its doors to the Grades during the 1995-1996 school year. The Principal was Mr. Kregg Fritsch who served from 1995-1997. Mrs. Mary Pygman (nee: McCoy) served as Head Teacher from 1997-1999. Pastor Timothy J. Pauls served as Acting Administrator from 1999 to 2007 when the school closed. The Grade School was served by several called and contracted teachers.
The Congregation extended a call to Rev. Timothy J. Pauls who was serving in Hailey, Idaho at Valley of Peace Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He accepted the call to Good Shepherd and was installed as Assistant Pastor on January 11, 1998. He was called to be sole pastor in 2010 when Pastor Hrachovina requested a peaceful release from his call and is presently serving as our Pastor. Pastor Pauls and his wife Teresa have two children, Nathan and Noah.
On April 29, 2002 the American Flagpole was dedicated with much excitement! The American Flag was flown onto the church grounds in an Idaho Army National Guard Helicopter. It was presented by a VFW Color Guard. The Wednesday Notes reported on April 24, 2002, “We look forward to the dedication of the flagpole, and subsequent flying of our nation’s flag at the school. This will reinforce that we are citizens of the two kingdoms: As the crosses in the front of the church announce that we are citizens of heaven for the sake of Jesus, the flag will announce that we are citizens of this nation, placed here by God that we might live in service to our neighbor.” Later another flagpole was donated to fly the Christian Flag.
Other projects over the years have improved the grounds and benefited the church and school such as: a playfield and new playground equipment, a technology grant and donation of computers for the Computer Lab, improvements to the School Library, and new carpeting in the sanctuary and upstairs classrooms of the Fellowship Hall, as well as pew pads, to name a few.
When one door closes the Lord opens another. The Preschool at Good Shepherd after 40 years of faithful service to the Lord’s Lambs had to close its doors due to lack of enrollment for the 2005-2006 school year. Demographics on the Boise Bench seem to have played a large part. The Grade School closed in 2007.
In 2003 Good Shepherd celebrated the 50th Anniversary Jubilee of its beginning with the establishment of the “Bench Lutheran Mission” in 1953. Rev. Mervin Kellermann was the guest preacher. There was a reception between services.
In 2005, the congregation celebrated the 50th Anniversary Jubilee of its being constituted as a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod on January 16, 1955. The celebration was held on Reformation Sunday, October 30, 2005. The guest speaker was the Rev. John Fehrmann representing the Confessional Lutheran Education Foundation. A potluck brunch was held after the service. Rev. Mervin Kellermann the congregation’s first pastor also made some remarks in remembrance of the occasion.
The parsonage and the property behind the parsonage were sold April 2013. From the proceeds the parking lot was replaced due to a developing sinkhole.
This year, 2019, the congregation is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Bench Lutheran Mission of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod on February 24, 2019. The guest preacher is Pastor David Fleming, Assistant Executive Director of Spiritual Care for Doxology and the guest organist is Phil Magness, chief musician for Doxology. A potluck dinner will be held after the service.
The Lord has blessed Good Shepherd Lutheran Church with continued growth.
The Rev. Mervin Kellermann (1953-1958)
The Rev. John Feiertag (1958-1962)
The Rev. Harold Lachmann (1963-1969)
The Rev. Leonard Glaser (1969-1982)
The Rev. David A. Hrachovina (1983 – 2010)
The Rev. Timothy J. Pauls (1998 – Present)