Fifty five years and counting.
THERE'S ALWAYS MORE TO THE STORY.
The history of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd parallels the growth and development of the Kingwood area. Regular Sunday services began in 1962 in a private home in nearby Humble and Good Shepherd became a mission church of the Diocese of Texas the following year. The first permanent church building was built in Humble and was dedicated in 1967.
With the development of the “Livable Forest” of Kingwood in the early 1970s, the congregation moved from Humble a few miles north to Kingwood in February 1973. The Diocese of Texas bought the present four-acre site from Friendswood Development Company in September 1973. The first service in the building constructed there was held August 1, 1976, and the building was dedicated in September.
Within 14 years of its beginning, the small mission had accomplished the major task of building not one, but two church facilities. In relocating to Kingwood, the church found a place to put down permanent roots and grow with the young community, from 72 families in 1973, to 199 families in 1976.
In 1978 Good Shepherd achieved parish status and the church grew substantially, from 189 families in 1978 to 346 families in 1984. A Christian education building was completed in 1983 and the Good Shepherd School soon began operations in the new facility.
By 1987 a long-range planning committee concluded that Good Shepherd needed a larger sanctuary and additional classroom and office space. Over $600,000 was pledged toward the $1,500,000 cost of the new facility, which was dedicated in November 1990.
Although reluctant to take on more debt, continued growth in church membership, ministries, and the enrollment of Good Shepherd School required more space. Good Shepherd stepped out in faith and raised $1,422,000 in pledges and borrowed an additional $1 million to build a two-story Mission Center which opened in time for the start of the 2001 school year. The Mission Center completion greatly enhanced church youth activities, Christian education, and small group meeting opportunities and allowed for more administrative space in the main building. Membership grew steadily, although the actions of the 2003 General Convention caused some discord and resultant loss of membership and pledges–an unfortunate, but temporary setback.
The Good Shepherd parish has been fortunate to have the leadership of four outstanding rectors over the years: The Rev. Joseph Johnson (1973-1978), the Rev. Richard Elwood (1979-1984), the Rev. Stephen R. Whitfield (1985-1992), and the Rev. Dennis G. Fotinos, who served from 1993 until his retirement in January 2008.
Since its beginning in 1962, Good Shepherd has become one of the larger parishes in the Diocese of Texas, with over 550 families and an annual budget of over $1,000,000. The parish has been blessed with many challenges and opportunities as well as with the people and other resources with which to meet them. The congregation looks forward to continuing its efforts to live into its Mission Statement: