The Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal

Parish History


Who Have We Been?


A New Flock

On September 4, 1994, following weeks of organizational meetings, a commissioning service was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Our priest-in-charge joined the Rector of St. John’s in standing with parishioners who were to begin the work of the new church. It was an exciting time. Hopes were high. Later the same month, we met in our temporary store-front home to hold the first service of Holy Eucharist of the newly named Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal. And in February of the following year, it was official: we were accepted as a parish of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama...

A Parish Built By Its People

At an early organizational meeting, before we had a place of our own, even before we had a name, an offering was collected and sent to the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief for Rwandan refugees. Our early worship services were held on pews we refinished, with vestments sewn by our hands, and on an altar built by our own able and humble carpenter. We are the literal custodians, the grounds keepers, the floral arrangers, the bread bakers, of this home we call Good Shepherd. We give with grateful hearts because we have been given to...

A Sacred Space

Original property purchased by the Diocese was found unsuitable for our construction needs and was sold. As this concern unfolded, a wonderful parcel of land in a high growth area of Decatur came on the market. It was purchased with foresight and faith by gracious parishioners and then sold to the Diocese at the request of Good Shepherd. No one could know that one of those parishioners would enter seminary years later and become an ordained priest of The Episcopal Church.
A capital funds campaign began in February 1996, and a groundbreaking service was held the following June with parishioners gathered hand in hand in song: “This is holy ground...we’re standing on holy ground…”

A Flourishing Fold

We have had four rectors at Good Shepherd. During transition times, lay ministry has always remained high. We have grown from those thirty individuals who attended that very first organizational meeting to approximately 200 in our parish today. Equally as vital as our growth is our commitment to Christ’s great commission to “feed my sheep”. We find ourselves with arms open wide, loving one another, welcoming those who walk through our doors, and touching the lives of those who hunger and thirst in both literal and spiritual ways.

In case you want to know more about what's going on at the Good Shepherd today, check out the Latest News.

Thoughts from our Parishoners...

Warmth, Welcomeness, and Caring...

“I grew up in the Episcopal Church and after 25 years away, I wanted to be reunited with the Church. I found warmth, welcomeness, and caring at Good Shepherd that I did not find elsewhere."

Loving People...

“The kindness and outreaching, loving people of the Good Shepherd...”

Connection with a Christian Community...

“I wanted to be in a church that was more welcoming; where you actually know the people you sit with and worship with every Sunday. I wanted more of a “connection” within a Christian community than I and my family were able to find elsewhere.”

Willingness to Explore Our Faith Journey...

“What keeps me at Good Shepherd is its tendency to be more progressive and open in love for all. While there is tradition (and
there is a lot of it in the Episcopal Church), the congregation does not seem as a whole to “worship” that part, but instead is more concerned with faith in God and the love of each other and the community.
This parish seems to indicate a willingness to explore our faith journey.”

I Felt Like I Was Home...

“I love the people here at the COGS. The minute I walked through the doors, I felt like I was at home. I have been in the Episcopal Church all my life. I have been in large churches, and I like small churches the best.”

Wonderful People...

“The wonderful people and the involvement in various ministries, especially Kairos...”

Inclusive and Loving...

“Search for inclusive and loving Episcopal community brought me to the Good Shepherd...”

Want to know more about the Good Shepherd?

Contact Us

  • Address:

    3809 Spring Avenue Southwest Decatur, Alabama 35603

  • Phone:

    256.351.9955

  • Email:

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© 2017 Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal

3809 Spring Avenue Southwest, Decatur, AL 35601