ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

1611 E. Main St.





04 02          Bethesda Lutheran Home 75th anniversary celebration, participation in   WDT



10 25          Many of Watertown's churches have been in existence more than 100 years.  This is a community with deep spiritual traditions dating back to the 1840s and 1850s when Watertown was a fledgling settlement on the banks of the Rock River.  Good Shepherd Lutheran Church provides an exception to the long and rich histories of Watertown churches as members celebrate the young congregation's 10th anniversary this Sunday.  The idea of a new congregation sprouted shortly after members of St. John's Lutheran Church voted to sever its affiliation with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, on Aug. 30, 1971.  Officials of the South Wisconsin District of the synod immediately began discussing the possibility of establishing a mission congregation.  A meeting was held Sept. 22, 1971, for individuals interested in forming a new Lutheran congregation in Watertown.  One hundred and sixty-three signed a register that night indicating interest in a new church.



06 23       Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will hold a special mortgage burning ceremony Sunday at 9 a.m. at the church. Speakers include the Rev. Donald Wilke, current pastor of the church who has served the parish since August 1978, and the Rev. Marvin Henschel, first pastor of Good Shepherd who served the congregation from March 1972 to November 1976. Rev. Henschel will address the group via videotape from Ponca City, Okla. Also participating in the service will be members of the congregation who served as officers of the church during its construction. Immediately following the service of praise and thanksgiving, Aid Association for Lutherans Branch 4579 will host a reception in the learning center. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was organized in October 1971 by 130 former members of St. John's Lutheran Church. A site committee was formed immediately and shortly thereafter a building committee was organized. Ground breaking ceremonies were held in May 1972 and the cornerstone was laid in October 1972. Worship services were temporarily held at the American Legion Green Bowl, now Lindberg's By the River Restaurant, until the church building was completed. The first service in the new church was held Dec. 21, 1972, with dedication services on Feb. 4, 1973.   WDT



10 18       Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1611 E. Main St., will celebrate 20 years of services the next two Sundays.  On Sunday, the Good Shepherd congregation will return to the site of its beginnings with services at Lindberg’s By the River, formerly the Green Bowl.  The Rev. Horst Jordan, who served as vacancy pastor during the congregation’s first months of existence, will be the preacher at the 8 and 10 a.m. services. His message, “A Great Inheritance,” will be based on 1 Peter, Chapter 1.  Special music will be provided by a 20-member brass choir directed by Patricia Neuberger, the church choir directed by Judy Zillmer and the Jubilation Choir directed by Maryellen Lowe.   WDT




Members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church celebrated the completion of their new educational facility over the weekend.  Hosting a Good Neighbors Festival, the church invited people of the Watertown area to share in the celebration with activities including a dedication service on Sunday, a congregation picnic and a concert by a nationally known Christian recording artist.  In addition, a high flying outreach ministry called “Lift High the Cross” featured a 70-foot-tall hot air balloon with two 40-foot crosses as its focal point.  The balloon met with a mishap Friday when an unexpected storm ripped the lighter-than-air craft.  Temporary repair efforts allowed the balloon to be inflated briefly Sunday afternoon.   WDT



Church members attending classes at Good Shepherd Lutheran this fall are entering a recently built new addition.  The 22,000-square-foot addition is part of a long-range plan to expand facilities and education services to better serve the needs of the growing congregation.  The expanded facilities, built at a cost of $1,442,000 takes the congregation a step closer to opening its own Christian day school.  A feasibility study is under way by the church's Genesis Committee for starting an elementary grade school in the future.   WDT




The first resident pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Watertown will be the guest preacher during worship services this weekend as the congregation continues its 35th anniversary celebration.  The theme of the anniversary is “Surely The Lord Is In This Place,” exemplifying the blessings Good Shepherd has experienced over the past 35 years.  The Rev. Marvin Henschel was the first pastor at Good Shepherd and is now in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Henschel was born and raised in the Sheboygan area and began his ministerial studies at Concordia College in Milwaukee in 1951.  Upon graduation in 1955, he received a bachelor of arts degree and enrolled at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo.  He received his master of divinity degree in 1960 and earned a master of education degree in 1969 from the University of Oklahoma.   WDT



10 13       Free paper shredding offered as community event; opportunity to make donations   WDT




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin