Our History

Good Shepherd was formed in 1973 as a consolidation of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Christ Lutheran Church but our roots go back to 1845.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was organized on December 5, 1845 when the Lutheran members withdrew from the combined Lutheran/Reformed Congregation. The original name of the Lutheran Congregation was “German Evangelical Saint Paulus Church.” The first church building was located on Washington Street just North of South Street while the Reformed Congregation occupied the church building at Main and South Streets. The first pastor of St. Paul’s was the Rev. Herman Eggers. Pastor Eggers resigned in 1848 and the congregation was served irregularly with several pastoral vacancies until 1855 when the Rev. G. H. Vosseler was called. In 1864 the Lutheran Congregation purchased the former Reformed Church building at sheriff’s sale for $5,000. The congregation of St. Paul’s moved into the current home of Good Shepherd in the summer of 1865. The first Sunday School was organized in 1856 and a German parochial school was formed in 1863.

Christ Lutheran Church was formed in 1894 as a mission church of St. John’s Lutheran Church in south Wilkes-Barre. On May 21, 1894 the Rev. H. F. J. Seneker accepted the call to become the first pastor of the Christ Lutheran mission. A building was erected at North Washington and Beaumont streets and the first service was held February 10, 1895. On August 18, 1895 a permanent congregation was formed. Both Christ Lutheran and St. Paul’s Lutheran continued their ministry into the early 1970s.

After the Agnes flood in June 1972 the five Wilkes-Barre Lutheran Church in America congregations began discussion on consolidation. The result was the consolidation of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Christ Lutheran Church. The new congregation was formed January 1, 1973 and on January 7, 1973 the congregation voted to name the new church “Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.”

The Rev. George Zacharda and the Rev. James Roberts were appointed vice pastors of the congregation by Dr. Wilson E. Touhsaent, president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod. In the beginning the congregation was using both church buildings designating them as North Chapel and South Chapel. After attempts to purchase property for a new church failed, the congregation voted to proceed with renovations of the South Chapel in 1976. The first service in the newly renovated church was held Christmas Eve 1977 and the building was dedicated February 19, 1978.

The congregation of Good Shepherd continues to carry out it’s mission.