Good Shepherd: Our History
The Holy Spirit has guided Good Shepherd’s 30-year history. The “fingerprints of God” and a series of bold, faithful steps taken by our members and leaders have paved the way for those who followed. Dedication and discernment to what God wants for this community of faith has brought Good Shepherd to the current location in the geographical center of Naperville.
Our tradition is rooted in a Lutheran understanding of theology, an understanding of God that emanates from the Bible. We began as an American Lutheran Church (ALC) congregation and now are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We are a Christian Church with a Lutheran tradition.
Growth for the Good Shepherd Community is more than brick and mortar. A strong Biblical teaching and desire to grow servant hearts has been a part of the congregation’s journey. The focus on God’s Great Commandment to love God and love others has become central to our ministry. The teaching of Jesus known as the Great Commission has provided vision for the church to respond by finding ways to welcome people into a hope-filled life with God.
Here are a few of the mile markers that we celebrate:
1979 — Good Shepherd Church began as a mission congregation of the American Lutheran Church worshipping on Westmoreland Avenue in Naperville.
1984 — Growing beyond the site at Westmoreland, the congregation took a step of faith and sold the building and found a new place to worship at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle.
1987 — As God grew and matured the congregation, we took another trust walk with the Lord to create a new home for Good Shepherd. Land became available as part of the Brighton Ridge subdivision on 75th Street.
1988 — Construction at 1310 Shepherd Drive was completed and the first worship service was held with 250 families who supported the journey.
1997 – Good Shepherd set in motion the first steps to a plan that would ready itself to creative ministry in the year 2000 and beyond. The preschool started with only two classes in the first year – a 3-4 year old class with 12 students, and a 4-5 year old class with 15 students. There were just four staff members.
2000 – An expanded ministry facility was constructed to provide Good Shepherd’s ministry with the needed tools to serve the greater Naperville area for God.
2007 – A feasibility study was conducted that led all ministries to focus on our vision to “reach and transform spiritually distracted families in our local community so they come to know and love God.” This study helped us to understand the community of Naperville more deeply and to celebrate the joy of being a church that embraces a wide range of worship styles and strong growth opportunities for every member of the family.
2010 – Our ministry facility expands again to enable the vision of Good Shepherd to be supported through ministry space.
For more information, visit the Good Shepherd Church website.