On Sunday, September 21, 2008 Good Shepherd Baptist Church will celebrate twenty-five years of ministry. This is certainly a great milestone that clearly shows us the faithfulness of our gracious Lord. While it is vital that we look forward to our future and press on fulfilling the purpose that He has called us to, we must never forget where we came from, how God has blessed, and how God has grown His church in the last twenty-five years. 1 Chronicles 16:11-12 says, “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.” The Lord has truly worked in wonderful ways throughout the life of Good Shepherd.
On January 29, 1983 the Lord led forty-two believers to meet together to worship the Him. For three weeks this young body of believers met in the First National Bank community room. By the end of February the group purchased and moved into a large farmhouse on a 37 acre site on State Route 639, east of Christiansburg. The first worship service was held there on February 20, 1983. On March 7, fifty-two individuals came forward requesting transfer letters from other churches, and the church was officially constituted.
In August of 1983 the Lord called Reverend George Bulson, III, to become the fulltime pastor of the church. Under his care the church made great progress during the first year. The meeting room of the farmhouse was enlarged, five deacons were elected, the church was voted into the Highland’s Association, the Women’s Missionary Union began and three new Sunday school classes began.
On August 29, 1984, a planning committee was formed to study needs for expansion. As a result, the church voted on October 10, to relocate rather than attempt enlarging their present facilities. A building committee was soon developed and on November 7, the church came to agreement to purchase eleven acres of land on Dunlap Drive. In August of 1985 the farmhouse and acreage were sold as they prepared for their next stage of ministry.
Ground was broken for the new church building on September 22, 1985, and the first phase of the building program began. During that time the church rented the Calvary United Methodist Church facilities from September of 1985 to March of 1986. After the completion of the building, the first service was held on Easter Sunday, March 30, 1986. During that time the church consisted of ninety-seven members.
Throughout the next two decades God worked in great ways. Many souls were saved and many lives were changed. Throughout these years the Lord established a strong foundation that He would continue to build upon in the days ahead. The church experienced numerous joys throughout this period, but as with life, they also experienced their share of struggles. Through it all God showed both His faithfulness and His favor upon this young church family.
On June 15, 2003, I was blessed to be called of the Lord to be the next pastor of Good Shepherd Baptist Church. Throughout the last five years the Lord has been so gracious to bless us and begin preparing us for what He desires to do further in and through this church family. Good Shepherd is truly becoming a lighthouse that is set up on the little hill. In the past five years we’ve seen more than fifty people make professions of faith in Christ and we’ve seen our membership grow to more than three hundred. In addition to these changes we’ve also added several other ministers and ministries. Joining Dee Wallace, the youth leader at GSBC for the last seven years, the Lord has blessed us with Bob Bellman, the minister of pastoral care, Ruthie Bellman, the children’s minister, and Barbara Foster, the church secretary. We’ve seen additional Bible Fellowship Classes started, men’s and women’s ministries have begun, the worship ministry has grown significantly, and the nursery ministry has improved dramatically. To God be the glory great things He has done! But, I do remind you that we have still had just a taste of what God can do. God still wants to do a greater work than what we can imagine in this church family.
Your Servant in Christ,