Our History

On May 6, 1945, a Lutheran service of worship was held in the town hall of Cass City with 32 children and adults in attendance, beginning the formation of a new church in Cass City. Rev. Otto Nuechterlein of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Caro was the leader of this little flock which grew in the next two years to 16 families with 18 children. The congregation was formally organized as the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on January 25, 1948. The name was later changed to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. The first building to house this flock was dedicated on April 11, 1948, on the corner of Maple St. and Garfield Ave. When this chapel soon became too small for the growing church, it was decided to build a basement on the church property to be used as a sanctuary until a building could be erected on top of it, hopefully within 5 years. The first service in the basement church was held on Easter Sunday, 1956.

In 1957, Pastor Nuechterlein left to serve a congregation in Iowa, but in November 1959, the first full-time pastor, Rev. Paul Heitmann, was installed. A new problem needed to be faced, the building of a home for the first full-time resident pastor. A new ranch home was dedicated next door to the church on Maple St. in August of 1961. Since that time, six pastors and families have lived in the same home and served the congregation as its pastor.

The basement church had become too small and did not provide the kind of space needed for the congregational life; therefore, land was purchased on Main St. where the present church building, fellowship hall and kitchen were built in 1967. The addition of an education wing, expansion for seating, an enlarged narthex and office space were dedicated in May of 1980.

Even before the church was formally chartered, a Sunday School was organized in 1947, indicating the importance to the founding families of Christian education, something that has continued to this day with many changes in the format. Programs soon developed for all ages, including some in support of missions, sharing the saving Word of Jesus, have also been part of the life of Good Shepherd.

The outward structures and the people have changed, but in all the life of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the Word of God remains the center of that life.