HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH

 
 
 
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Our story begins in the mid-1950s.  There were several Lutheran families in Centralia and the surrounding countryside, but no Lutheran Church here.  Lutherans were going to church in Columbia, Moberly and Mexico, and a few were worshiping in Centralia in churches of other denominations.

The initial meeting of what was later to be called Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was held on September 29, 1958, in the shoe department of Alwin’s Department Store on Allen Street in Centralia, Mo.  Rev. Walter Warmann, Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mexico, agreed to help this group get organized and serve as its pastor, with the consent of St. John’s in Mexico. Mr. Lloyd Alwin was appointed to find a temporary place for services.  Sixty people attended the first worship service, which was held at the American Legion Hall in Centralia, on Sunday evening, October 26, 1958.

On April 26, 1959, the members purchased an old house on property located at the corner of Jefferson and Head Street in Centralia (present location of Centralia Public Library).  Members spent many hours remodeling the interior of the house to make it suitable for a house of worship. The remodeling job was completed, and dedication of the “new” church was  held on December 10, 1959.

The five-acre tract of ground where Good Shepherd is now located was purchased in 1965 and building plans began shortly thereafter.  Groundbreaking was held in July of 1966, and the church was dedicated  February 19, 1967.   The facility included the sanctuary, office and kitchen space, as well as a small fellowship area with dividers to accommodate several Sunday School classes.

A larger fellowship area with additional Sunday School space was added in 1975.  At this time the kitchen was also enlarged.

Ground was broken on April 30, 2006, for the construction  of  the  present Fellowship Hall.  Good Shepherd Fellowship Hall was completed in time to be dedicated on October 26, 2008, at the 50th  anniversary celebration of the founding of the church.  The Fellowship Hall contains a large multi-purpose room. There are also three classrooms in the upstairs area above the restrooms and spacious kitchen.