50th Anniversary History
In July 1970 an Organ Memorial Fund was established to purchase this organ made and built in Padau, Italy. The Organ Committee Chairman, William Ungemach, stated the cost for this purchase would be $33,000. The first payment was made in September 1970. In June 1971 an additional stop was added for $1,900 for the organ to be complete. In August 1972, the organ arrived and it took 4 to 5 weeks to install. In January 1973 the chimes were installed at a cost of $237.
The following is from the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Dedication booklet…
In approaching Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for worship, I find I cannot divert my attention from the serene and stately white cross atop the roof of the sanctuary. It stands as a beacon to all the surrounding area.
My interest is aroused by the plate glass windows covering nearly the entire front of the narthex. In pondering a moment, I conclude that while worshippers have drawn apart from the bustling activity of life to the solace of praising God they are still a part of the world. They can be seen from without as they assemble to pay homage to the Lord and Giver of this busy, sometimes hectic, but always sacred life.
Upon entering the sanctuary the stillness is broken by the echo of my footsteps upon the slate aisle. To some this sound may be distracting, but what could be more beautiful than the sound of fellow worshippers entering the House of God!
After being seated and offering a brief prayer, I look up and my eyes focus upon the rough-sawed oak cross. It’s wood, now new, will split and change color as it seasons through the years.
Directly beneath the cross is a circular, free standing altar. Its naturalness and simplicity seem to symbolize the presence of God. Knowing that within these walls the Word is preached and the sacraments are administered. I note the prominent position of the pulpit to the left of the altar. The curve of the communion rail invites worshippers to the altar to commune with Christ in the company of fellow believers.
For the sacrament of Holy Baptism, the attention of the congregation will be directed from the chancel area to the center of the church. The location of the baptismal font is symbolic of the central position of baptism in the Family of God.
The organ, an instrument so vital to the atmosphere of the worship service, now comes into my view. This magnificent instrument effectually produces sounds ranging from the wind’s gentle whisper to the thunder’s mighty roar. The visual pipework compliments and augments the architectural decor of the sanctuary.
The choir, located between the console and the pipework of the organ, becomes an integral part of the congregation and blends its voices with those of fellow worshippers in their praise of God.
As I scan the sanctuary, my attention is drawn to the sun’s rays shining through the windows on the east wall. Their softness and warmth add to the serenity of this House of Worship. I am told these windows were not designed to be an interpretation of symbolism handed down from the past, but rather to create a meaningful expression of our life today. (The design of the windows compels the viewer to stop and study, maybe reflect, for one cannot grasp the meaning or intent in one cursory glance, nor identify it with a known experience and then dismiss it intellectually because he has not been challenged. It is rather hoped that you never quite understand all the windows and that they will change in their meaning to you with the light, the season, and the mood of the worship.)
Upon leaving the sanctuary and entering the spaciousness of the narthex, I find myself in an area which provides for the exchange of greetings and friendly conversation of members of the congregation as they arrive at church to attend worship services. Here, imbedded in the wall, are the cornerstones of the church buildings which formerly housed the two congregations which merged to form Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. These stones serve as a reminder that this new sanctuary was made possible only through the efforts and sacrifice of all who, through the years, have faithfully served the Lord. Many of these now serve the Church Triumphant. The memorial book is a tribute to their memory.
The walls of the structure, like the outstretched arms of Christ, bid all who pass by to enter and, enfolded within His arms, to worship. These same walls lead the worshippers from the apex of the altar into the community and world in a spirit of Christian service.